Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, is going to be the first female president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) as her panel won all 35 posts of directors in the biennial election of the trade body today.
The election was held at the BGMEA offices of both Dhaka and Chittagong that began around 8:00am and continued till 4:00pm without any major untoward incidents.
Huq is scheduled to take over the post of BGMEA president on April 20 with the victory.
Some 1,492 voters out of total 1,956 cast their votes in Dhaka and Chittagong for electing their leader of the BGMEA for 2019 and 2021 tenure.
In Dhaka, some 1,204 out of 1,597 and in Chittagong some 288 out of 359 votes were cast in the election.
This time Sammilito Forum and Shadhinata Parishad contested for 26 posts of directors as all nine directors were elected unopposed from Chittagong zone earlier.
A total of 35 directors needed to be elected for the formation of the BGMEA board.
Shadhinata Parishad contested for 18 posts in Dhaka zone as it filed nomination papers of 18 people, while the Sammilito Forum contested for 26 posts as it could submit nomination papers for all 26 posts.
“All the time people continue saying that Bangladesh is the country of cheap labour. Cheap is not good, but competition is good. We need to change this narrative of Bangladesh,” said Huq in her reaction after the election.
“If the factory owners think that they have needed the help from the BGMEA in case of price bargaining with the buyers, we will set up a separate cell in the BGMEA to assist them,” Huq said.
Huq said many small and medium factories are in trouble and they are facing even the closure of their units.
“They need immediate help. We need to stand beside them in time of their bad days. We will try to find out the way how to save their factories,” the BGMEA president-elect said.
“This is the highest time for self-monitoring. We also need transparency in this sector. We will try to brighten the image of the sector. We should not engage in unhealthy internal competition. We have a lot of good factories,” she said.