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BGMEA to Quit Bangladesh Alliance

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said it will stop sitting on the board for the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The move appears to be driven by a desire to speak freely and make its own efforts accordingly to improve the sector.

BGMEA president Atiqul Islam is expected to resign from the steering committee promptly.

According to the Dhaka Tribune, a BGMEA director who requested anonymity said, “If the BGMEA stays at the committee, it cannot talk against the Alliance as per the agreement,” adding that, “As the BGMEA represents the RMG sector, it will talk about it and place any demands of the sector, but if it is not possible, why we should stay with the committee?”

The U.S.-led Alliance, which consists of 26 members including Gap, Hudson’s Bay and Macy’s, has inspected its 600 member facilities for safety and outlined corrective action plans for making necessary upgrades. The organization also brokered a first-ever deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) earlier this month to provide $50 in affordable loans for garment factory owners to use for improvements.

BGMEA said it would work directly with the government to discuss progress in the factory remediation work and IFC financing to implement upgrades.