Explore new export markets, PM to entrepreneurs

27 Aug,2017

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Urging the industry owners and workers to maintain good relations for mutual benefits, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called for exploring new export markets as the traditional markets are not in good shape now.


“The recent economic condition of the traditional markets is not good for which the [country’s] export in some cases has been on downtrend. Those who will find out new markets, their items will get special incentives,” she said.


The Prime Minister was distributing cheques of compensation to the inheritors of dead workers and crippled workers of RMG sector from the central funds of Labour and Employment Ministry at her office.


Sheikh Hasina said, “We’ve to find out in which countries we can export our items in the future and what type of items they actually need.”


She mentioned that neighbouring countries could also be good destinations for export items as they have their own huge markets.


Hasina said soft loans with only 3 percent interest rate are being given as a special incentive to find new markets abroad.


She asked the authorities concerned to expand domestic market for Bangladeshi products to survive in the tough competitive global market.


The Prime Minister said all garment exporters should be the members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to bring them under the Central Fund of Labour and Employment Ministry, and asked the Commerce Ministry to review the matter.


The Prime Minister also asked the owners and workers to maintain good relations for their mutual benefits. “Obviously you (owners) will make profits…you’ve given attention to the workers for their welfare, this have to be continued because these people (workers) run your industries, whatever you earn that comes in lieu of their sweat, you must remember that all the time,” she said.


Hasina also asked the workers that it is their responsibility to take care of the industries in which they are working as this provide their butter and bread and accommodation. “You also must be careful so that there shouldn’t be any kind incident in the industries provoked by outsiders.”


The Prime Minister said there are some people in the country who work for NGOs and time to time become labour leaders. “They try to create turmoil to take share from workers…you must stay away from these elements,” she said.


Sheikh Hasina said the aim of her government is always to ensure the welfare of workers. “We’ve taken steps to resolve all the problems, if any, through discussions among the workers, owners and government.”


Hasina highlighted various steps taken by her government for the welfare of the workers and said it is her government for the first time increased the minimum wages of a garment workers to Tk 5300 from Tk 1600.


She also mentioned that soft loans are being given to the industry owners to build dormitories for garment workers in addition to providing allowances to all working lactating mothers, including those working in garment industries, and stipends to the meritorious children of garment workers.

She said her government formed industrial police and approved finally the BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology for sake of garments industries.


A total of 234 cheques were issued in favour of crippled workers and inheritors of dead workers from and crippled workers from the central Fund of Labour and Employment Ministry for the first time.


State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibur Huq Chunnu and BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman also spoke at the programme.

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