RMG sector's role in empowering women needs recognition
The contribution of the garment sector to women empowerment and social stability in Bangladesh should be acknowledged by international community, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Humayun Kabir has said.
The ambassador was speaking at a seminar organised by United States Department of Agriculture and Farm Foundations in Washington DC on Thursday, said a message received here yesterday.
He also highlighted the role of garment sector in Bangladesh, which now earns 76 percent of Bangladesh's export revenue and directly employs over 2 million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.
Referring to the employment generation and women empowerment, Kabir termed the garment sector as “economic life line” and a “veritable social shield” against the rise of any kind of extremism in Bangladesh.
He also demanded Bangladesh need a level playing field in the US market for the growth of garment sector and its continued contribution to the economy of Bangladesh.
In this context, he mentioned the unfriendly tariff regime in the US where Bangladesh pays around US dollar 500 million tariff against its export of around US$ 3 billion, whereas, the United Kingdom pays around US$ 400 million against its export of US$ 53 billion.
Drawing attention to the post MFA situation, the Bangladesh envoy highlighted the vulnerability in the garment sector in Bangladesh due to some structural deficiencies.
Ambassador Kabir sought the support for the passage of the New Partnership for Development Act 2007, which could create a level playing field for the garment exports from Bangladesh to maintain its share in the US market.
The conference was attended by high government officials, academics, members of think tanks including members of Cotton Council International and International Cotton Advisory Committee Walt Armbuster.
Katherine Smith, administrator of USDA Economic Research Service, also spoke. Stephen McDonald of USDA acted as moderator of the event.