Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked all concerned to explore new markets for Bangladeshi garments with invention of newer items keeping pace with its ever-changing trend.
“They, who are working with garments and their exports, will have to find new markets. Newer products will have to be produced keeping in mind that the choices vary with different countries,” she said.
The premier was addressing as the chief guest a function marking the National Textiles Day-2022 and inauguration of six textile educational institutes in six districts, joining from her official Ganabhaban residence here through a video conference.
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute organised the function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital city.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has to coordinate the fresh ideas with its old and historical tradition in textiles, for which, a university on fashion and design was established in the private sector to prepare skilled manpower.
“Fashion and design are very important and they are changing constantly. We have to keep pace with the ever-changing trend of garments and realise which design is high in demand,” she said.
The newly inaugurated six textile institutes are: Sheikh Rehana Textile Engineering College in Gopalganj, Sheikh Russel Textile Institute, Jamalpur, Shahid Abdur Rob Serniabat Textile Institute, Gouronodi, Barishal, Shahid Kamaruzzaman Textile Institute, Naogaon, Begum Amina Mansur Textile Engineering Institute, Sirajganj and Bhola Textile Institute.
Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi (Birpratik), its Secretary Md. Abdur Rauf and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Acting President Shahidullah Azim also spoke at the function.
On behalf of the prime minister, the textiles and jute minister handed over honorary awards to 10 persons and institutions including BGMEA, BKMEA, BTMEA, and Bangladesh University of Textiles.
A video documentary on the measures taken by the government for advancement of textiles in Bangladesh was screened.Sheikh Hasina said the readymade garments are playing a pivotal role in the country’s economy as Bangladesh has earned 45.70 USD by exporting those in 2022.
“The textile sector has a special contribution to our economy. We have earned huge foreign currencies by exporting readymade garment items and it has created a huge employment for both women and men. It has particularly opened a new door in women employment,” she said.
The prime minister said the readymade garments have immensely contributed to making the village economy more vibrant as the women from the grassroots level are working in the garment factories and have become economically solvent.
She said her government has been working to ensure all the rights of the labourers of the sector, referring to increasing their salaries three times since assuming office in 2009.
The premier said they have introduced industrial police and extended other facilities to the labourers to ensure their safety and security.
She said many countries come to Bangladesh to see the appliances in the factories adding that the situation is comparatively better than that of many countries coming to visit Bangladesh to this end.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has currently housed 50 top green factories out of 100 across the globe. Bangladesh has now 127 green factories, she said.
She also said her government has attached top priority to preparing skilled manpower for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) for which several textile institutes and a textile university have been built.
“Digital divides will dominate the fourth industrial revolution and we’re preparing our manpower as skilled enough so they can become worthy to overcome the challenges of the revolution,” she said.
The prime minister described jute goods as an environment-friendly agricultural product, saying it requires more attention alongside the ready-made garments.
She said being an agricultural product the jute is not getting the attention that is given to the garment industries, adding, “Jute urgently needs that attention and I have already given directives to this end.”
Recalling the golden time of the jute, she said once upon a time, jute earned huge foreign currencies for the country and the same scope is being created again as the people across the globe are becoming conscious about climate change.
“Jute is an environmentally-friendly product and numerous products can be made of the jute,” she said.
Referring to an address to the nation by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on December 15 in 1973 ahead of the Victory Day, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu quoted that the pattern of Bangladesh’s import-dependent economy would be changed as the export markets were expanding.
“We also believe in that. We no longer want to be an import dependent country rather to make it an export oriented one,” she said.
The prime minister asked all concerned to ensure marketing of the produced goods with adding value which help earn more foreign currencies.
She said the digital divides can play a great role in expanding the export basket. Process is underway to resume the already closed 16 mills under the Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC) on public private partnership (PPP) or leasing out those to the private sector, she said.
The prime minister added that the process of giving tender to restart four of those mills on the PPP is on.She said her government has also taken measures to revive the handloom industry from which 40 percent local demand for clothes is fulfilled.
“Handloom industry is our tradition. It was about to be ruined. But, we have taken measures to revive it,” she said.
In this regard, she said the Dhakai muslin is revived again due to the timely measures of the government.
The premier also said the garment and textile sector of the country is progressing amid global crisis arisen from Covid-19 pandemic and subsequently Russia-Ukraine conflict due to government’s timely initiatives including providing stimulus packages during the pandemic period.