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Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association


Full Description


The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the apex trade body that represents the export oriented woven, knit and sweater garment manufacturers and exporters of the country. Readymade Garment (RMG) is the leading sector of Bangladesh in terms of employment, production and foreign exchange earning. Readymade garment (RMG) alone earned about 78% of the yearly foreign exchange earning of the country. About 4.0 million people are employed in the garment sector. The growth rate of RMG export was over 20% per over the last two decades.

A Success Story of RMG Sector:

The importance of RMG sector can hardly be over emphasized. There has been a steady growth in the field of RMG during last two decades. The RMG industry enjoyed a meteoric rise from 30 enterprises in 1980 increased to about 5700 in 2011-12 fiscal year. The growth of the industry in terms of number of units and employment generation is shown in table – 1 below:

Table 1: Growth of the industry and Employment

Year Number of Garment Factories Employment in Million Workers
1983-84 134 0.040
1984-85 384 0.115
1985-86 594 0.198
1986-87 629 0.283
1987-88 685 0.306
1988-89 725 0.317
1989-90 759 0.335
1990-91 834 0.402
1991-92 1163 0.582
1992-93 1537 0.804
1993-94 1839 0.827
1994-95 2182 1.200
1995-96 2353 1.290
1996-97 2503 1.300
1997-98 2726 1.500
1998-99 2963 1.500
1999-2000 3200 1.600
2000-2001 3480 1.800
2001-2002 3618 1.800
2002-2003 3760 2.000
2003-2004 3957 2.000
2004-2005 4107 2.000
2005-2006 4220 2.200
2006-2007 4490 2.400
2007-2008 4743 2.800
2008-2009 4925 3.500
2009-2010 5063 3.600
2010-2011 5150 3.600
2011-2012 5700 4.000


Out of 4.0 million manpower employed in BGMEA member factories, 3.20 million are women (80%), majorities of them are disadvantaged and economically poverty stricken women folk. The country’s RMG sector, to a creditable level has relieved Bangladesh from over populous unemployment burden through providing the largest employment next to agriculture, transport, trade and industry sector. This sector has uplifted the neglected section of the population, thus radically transforming the socio-economic condition of the country. Such empowerment and employment raised awareness regarding children education, health safety, population control disaster management only so for. It is an epoch making event in the history of Bangladesh.

Main Functions of BGMEA:

BGMEA is being run by a 27-member elected Board of Directors. Four Vice Presidents having important portfolios, along with a secretariat of experienced officials, assists the Board in formulating and executing vital policies and programs of the organization. The President is the highest executive authority of the BGMEA.

The fundamental objective of BGMEA is to establish a healthy business environment for a close and mutually beneficial relationship between the manufacturers, exporters and importers in the process ensuring a steady growth in the foreign exchange earnings of the country. BGMEA issues UD to its exporters thereby monitors export as well. BGMEA plays a very strong role to lead the industry in concurrence with the government. The following are the regular activities of BGMEA for its members, apparel buyers and other partners.

· To Protect and uphold the interest of the industry by aiding the formulation of government policies consistent with a congenial growth of the sector.

· Committed to protect the interests of its members and their employees by implementing legitimate rights and privileges for garments workers.

· To negotiate and consult with foreign and local agencies to promote the garments sector in every possible fields.

· To maintain liaisons with foreign buyers, business associations and chambers.

· To provide foreign buyers with all necessary information regarding all issues concerned with the RMG sector.

· BGMEA brings the opportunities for local manufacturers to interact with foreign buyers and form new rapport by arranging different apparel fairs at home and abroad.

· To keep the BGMEA factories child labor free through continued monitoring.

· Continue and expand collaboration with relevant Ministries of the Governments.

· Continue educational support to workers’ children and make a provision for skill training for children removed from the BGMEA’s member factories.

· Provides information services to its members by publishing monthly newsletters, issuance of circulars and through Dhaka’s first B2B web portal, which directly links exporters and buyers around the world.

· BGMEA also established its own Institute called “BGMEA Institute of Fashion & Technology (BIFT)” in 2000. Till the day BIFT is continuously developing professionals for this sector through the courses of Fashion Designing and Garment Merchandising; and other certificate, diploma and short courses. Transforming it into University is under process.

· Promotes computer-oriented solutions for better management to its member units.

· Participate actively in all trade negotiations for the sector in order to get easier market access and GSP benefits.

· BGMEA’s appointed lobbyist firm has been working to get duty free access in the US market.

· BGMEA has introduced Service Books for each and every workers employed in the factories.

· BGMEA is going to launch a workers welfare committee in the factories.

· BGMEA has ensured the minimum wage implementation to the tune of 99.99% of all factories.

· BMGEA has set up a Crisis Management Committee for emergencies.

· BGMEA regularly helps out the victims of natural calamity by providing relief, rehabilitation and other support. BGMEA stood beside the SIDR affected people with huge relief and support. BGMEA also rehabilitated 100 families by establishing a weaver’s village (Taath Palli) in Manikgonj.

· BGMEA provides scholarship to meritorious children of the garments workers. Each year 2000 students are getting the scholarships at Dhaka and Chittagong.

· BGMEA runs training programs through 27 TechnicalTrainingCenters and 3 other centers with the objective of producing skilled workers for the RMG sector. More than 15000 trainees will be shaped up through this program and BGMEA will appoint them in the factories. BGMEA has trained and employed 15,000 people till the date.

· BGMEA is in the process of taking over 34 vocational training centers to provide various skill sets to the unemployed.

· BGMEA regularly conducts fire drills and fire safety program at the member factories. Although 9 fire incidents took place in 2010, there were no casualties.

· BGMEA runs 12 medical centers for its workers and provides HIV/AIDS awareness. Around 6 million workers have already received medical treatment and 80,000 workers have been made aware of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.

· BGMEA is going to develop a central database system for the garment workers, which will cover all workers’ information of the readymade garment sector.

· BGMEA is going to start a UD automation system to speed up custom procedures. Such online system will bring dynamism in a way that reduces lengthiness in custom procedures.

· BGMEA has distributed essential food items among workers at subsidized price during the last Ramadan through 12 centers at Dhaka and Chittagong.

· A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between BGMEA and IFC-SEDF on 17th June 2008 to monitor occupational safety and health status of the workers employed in the member factories of BGMEA operating at Dhaka. Under this program all the running factories at Dhaka have already been audited by the social compliance monitors of BGMEA and a database in being prepared.

The Registered Office:

The Registered Office of BGMEA is situated at BGMEA Complex 23/1, Panthapath Link Road (3rd Floor), Kawran Bazar, Dhaka-1215. BGMEA has also a Regional Office at BGMEA Bhaban (Level- 4 & 5), 669/E, Jhautala Road, South Khulshi, Chittagong. Apart from well functioning Office Administration, Accounts and Utilization Permission/Utilization Declaration sections, BGMEA accommodates two modern Conference Room and a Research, Development and Trade Information Cell equipped with Computers and other sophisticated office equipment. A Computerized Information and Data Collection System and web portal have also been developed to meet the information needs of the members on world apparel trade and market conditions.


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