Reform can create more jobs in RMG sector: WB

The country’s readymade garment sector (RMG) could create more and better jobs, with implementing effective initiatives to improve productivity, product quality and reliability, and enforcing better safety conditions and other compliance policies, a World Bank report said.
The World Bank with Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) launched the report here yesterday (Monday) that focused on the global and South Asian apparel markets, estimating the potential gains in exports and jobs, and identifies policies that can unleash South Asia’s export and job potential.
The report – Stitches to Riches: Apparel Employment, Trade and Economic Development – said Bangladesh has the largest apparel export industry in South Asia and, at 6.4 percent, the largest market share of global apparel exports among South Asian countries.
It also highlighted that Bangladesh needs to improve performance on non-cost factors those are important to global buyers.
The report said successful reforms would help Bangladesh increase exports and capture more jobs from China’s gradual exit from the clothing market and compete with Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
“The potential decrease in Chinese exports presents a huge opportunity for Bangladesh, if it can meet global buyers’ requirements for cost, quality, lead time, reliability and compliance with safety standards and other policies,” said Qimiao Fan, the World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
He said the apparels sector here already set an example in women’s empowerment by significantly increasing female participation in the labour force.
“Competition is increasing in the global apparels market with buyers moving towards greater consolidation in sourcing decisions and the impending approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, report co-author and a Lead Economist for the
World Bank.
She said Bangladesh should capitalise on its position as regional leader and implement policies to improve the quality of its product.