25 SEP 2016
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Focus on sustainable sourcing of new apparel products

Aiming at enhancing common understanding on sustainable versus unsustainable sourcing of RMG products and also for focusing new sourcing practices, a sustainable sourcing conference is going to be organised in Dhaka with the initiative of the Government of Netherlands.
The symposium titled “Conference on Sustainable Sourcing in the Garment Sector (SSGS)” will be held on September 29 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Dhaka.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka will organise the event in partnership with the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the International Apparel Federation (IAF), while the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange is the implementing partner of the multinational conference.
The SSGS conference is an initiative of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Lilianne Ploumen while Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed is expected to be present at the conference as the chief guest at the opening session.
Sources said representatives from more than 100 buyers and retailers will participate in this conference besides local industry entrepreneurs and BGMEA leaders.
The SSGS will focus on the need to advance a common understanding on sustainable sourcing practices in the garment sector, through promoting multi-stakeholder cooperation and presenting best practices.
The objective of the conference is to enhance a mutual understanding of sustainable versus unsustainable sourcing, and to showcase new sourcing practices that will be beneficial for all stakeholders in the garment value chain.
A longer term outlook and commitment may result in a greater collaboration leading to mutually beneficial investments that promote sustainability, social conditions and compliance, while at the same time improving business performance.
Two events have been arranged on the occasion of the conference. The first one is scheduled with three sessions styled ‘Global trends in garment sector and opportunities for Bangladesh,’ ‘International framework for sustainable sourcing: Setting the outline for future collaboration,’ and ‘Success factors for sustainable production and sourcing.’ Besides, the concluding session will be arranged to find out the way forward for the sector.
Ton Wiedenhoff, representative of International Apparel Federation (IAF) and Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Associations (BGMEA) will present keynote papers on ‘Global trends in garment sector and opportunities for Bangladesh.’
Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production H&M, Mohan Seneviratne: Program Manager of Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT), Syed Mohammed Tanvir, Managing Director of Pacific Jeans and Riaz Hamidullah, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka will discuss as panel discussants on opportunities and untapped potentials for the garment sector in Bangladesh. Ms. Dhyana van der Pols, Nash International will chair the session.
Pierre Mayaudon, Ambassador and Head of European Union Delegation to Bangladesh, Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, Mark Anner, Associate Professor of Labor & Employment Relations at Penn State University, Peter Rinnebach, Senior Partner of Kurt Salmon Associates and Miran Ali, Managing Director, Misami Garments will discuss on international framework for sustainable sourcing: setting the outline for future collaboration. Srinivas B. Reddy, ILO Country Director Bangladesh will chair the session.
Ms. Rubana Huq, Managing Director, Mohammadi Group will chair the third session on successful factors for Sustainable Production and Sourcing. It also discusses two specific issues as road map.
Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production of H&M, Edward David Southall, Head of Global Sourcing of LC Waikiki, Mostafiz Uddin, Owner and Managing Director of Denim Expert Ltd, Mahmud Hasan Khan, Vice President BGMEA and MD Rising Fashions and Erica van Doorn, President Fair Wear Foundation will discuss on the roadmap titled ‘Solutions and collaboration models.’
Jef Wintermans, Director, Economic and Technical Affairs at Modint, Roel Messie, Director, NL Business at FMO, Mohammed Nasir, Vice President Finance of BGMEA, Rob Wayss, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Accord and Mahmoodun Nabi Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Banking at Brac Bank will discuss at another roadmap on financing change.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) will summarize the discussions.  
Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh will chair the closing session.Md. Shafiul Islam, First Vice President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will deliver the speech at the session while Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands will deliver the closing remarks.
BGMEA Senior Vice-President Faruq Hassan told daily sun:
“The prime objective of the conference is to focus Bangladesh’s present status to international buyers in terms of safety, good practices, workers rights, production capacity, quality and value addition.”
Our manufacturers have done their jobs by improving safety standards as per the buyers’ requirements. They also installed latest technology to produce products in line with the international standards, he added.
Faruq Hasan said, exporters have to invest lot of money in upgrading the factories and the buyers also have some responsibilities about pricing and they have to make all-out cooperation.
“We want to inform them that the country is not only producing basic products but many industries are also producing high value products as a reliable source of international buyers and retailers,” said the association leader, who is also the Managing Director of Giant Group.
The buyers and retailers can help manufactures enhance workers’ efficiency and productivity by giving ethical prices for their products. All these issues would be elaborately discussed in the conference, he added.