Jabs for RMG workers within 45 days

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi says
The government and factory owners are working together to vaccinate garment workers, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said. Photo: Star/file

Vaccinating workers is a top priority for the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government, which expects to start providing garment workers their jabs within one and a half months, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday.

He made the remarks during a meeting with US-based multinational retail corporation Walmart Vice President Paul Dyck at the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC, according to an embassy statement.

Munshi, who led a Bangladesh delegation to Magic Las Vegas 2021 Trade Show, made a brief stopover at Washington DC to participate in a trade roundtable organised by McLarty Associates. The minister said the Bangladesh government and factory owners were working together to vaccinate garment workers.

He highlighted government efforts and factories' preparedness to ensure workplace safety against the backdrop of the pandemic.

He also expressed hope for over 60 per cent of the population to be vaccinated within the next six months.

Dyck said with improvements in the Covid-19 situation in the US, Walmart was now ready to explore and source more from abroad.

Apart from garments, the minister encouraged Walmart to buy leather goods, pharmaceuticals, light engineering items including bicycles, and plastic products from Bangladesh.

Over the luncheon roundtable, Syed Mahmudul Huq, chairman of the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation, highlighted the need to brand black tiger shrimp cultivated in Bangladesh as a premium crustacean in the US market.

This could be done by ensuring that modern production capabilities are in place and that overseas markets' food safety and traceability requirements are consistently met, he said.

The meeting highlighted the need for retaining long-term demand for black tiger shrimp by ensuring that Bangladesh's aquaculture products were responsibly produced and certified by a third party.

The foundation and the embassy announced working together to retain and enhance the market share of Bangladeshi tiger shrimp in the US.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the US M Shahidul Islam, Senior Adviser of McLarty, Associates Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, Walmart Senior Director Sarah Thorn and other ministry and embassy officials were present.   


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