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Bangladesh Garment Sector Gears Up for November ‘Mega’ Event

In an effort to showcase Bangladesh’s fast-growing apparel industry and the strides made regarding worker safety, several different expos are being rolled together this year into a new initiative under the banner, “Made in Bangladesh Week.”

The event, running Nov. 12-18 in Dhaka, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and build on the strength of the Dhaka Apparel Summit that has been held twice before in 2014 and 2017with a similar style of panel discussions among experts and stakeholders. Concurrently, the Bangladesh Denim Expo will take an in-depth look at the progress the nation has made in terms of environmental issues and sustainable practices.

“As Bangladesh turns 50, we are proud of the tremendous accomplishments our nation has made so far leading to a huge transformation on the social, economic and infrastructure fronts,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).  “In 50 years, our total national exports have exceeded $50 billion for the recently concluded fiscal year 2021-22. And in our 40-year journey of apparel manufacturing, our ready-made garment exports crossed the $40 billion mark in the same fiscal year. It’s happening in a time when the global economy is struggling to turn around from the pandemic. Bangladesh has proved its resilience in all challenges and at all crossroads faced.”

He noted that having undergone a transformation in terms of safety and compliance issues in the past decade, Bangladesh remains the second-biggest apparel manufacturer in the world.

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The BGMEA will organize the event in partnership with the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE).

BAE founder and CEO Mostafiz Uddin described the new gathering as a “mega event, with a 360-degree definition of sustainability.”

“Sustainability is a focus, and this is being addressed in many different forms—environmental, social, circular, manufacturing. Panel sessions will give a platform to delegates, brands and retailers, stakeholders, journalists, policymakers and trade bodies to initiate collaborations and design a roadmap for the future,” he said.

“Equally, the focus will be on emerging trends and developments within the industry, including innovation and sustainability, and we are keen to discuss the future potential of circularity and diversity. The significance of stakeholders’ collaboration and responsibility will also be high on our agenda,” he added.

The Made in Bangladesh Week will comprise 17 physical events including conferences, expositions, fashion runway shows, sustainable design and innovation awards and factory tours, and is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees both from the local market and abroad.

“Under the umbrella of the Made in Bangladesh Week, we will also have the Dhaka Apparel Summit on Nov. 15-16. The two-day conference will be broken out into seven sessions covering an agenda of critical importance for this industry’s future,” Uddin said.

As BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim pointed out, the Made in Bangladesh Week will give the industry a chance to better insure a profitable future. “The expectations are to showcase the transformation happening in the garment industry, to highlight the country’s progress in terms of infrastructure, and to discuss the potential of how all stakeholders can come forward and collaborate. Equally, it will serve to brand our industry and our nation.”