Representatives from the employers, workers, government and some world's largest retail brands on Wednesday discussed strategies for sustainable growth of the country's ready-made garment (RMG) sector.
The Better Work Bangladesh programme, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), organised the event, titled "Bangladesh Business Forum", in Dhaka, said a press release.
Recognising the exemplary progress made in the RMG sector over the past years, the forum emphasised a decent work environment and business competitiveness in the sector, supported mainly by coordinated capacity-building initiatives and improved labour market governance.
It also highlighted the need of promoting dialogue in factories and building harmonious relations among management and worker representatives.
Over 400, including representatives from the government, employers' and workers' organisations, development partners, global brands and retailers, manufacturers, civil society and academia, attended the event, the release reads.
"With joint efforts of the government, different organisations of employers and workers, and development partners, we can transform the sector further and help Bangladesh achieve the goal that we aspire to in the next 20 years," said Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior commerce secretary.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard said considering the importance of the sector to the country's economic development, Switzerland has been supporting the Better Work Programme to strengthen Bangladesh's resilience to economic fluctuations and equip the country to manage emerging trade requirements related to responsible business conduct.
Department of Labour Director General Khaled Mamun Chowdhury stated that harmonious industrial relations and labour management are important in the labour sector. "We need to address labour rights, privileges and occupation safety."
"ILO will continue its partnership with the Bangladesh government, employers, global brands, and workers' organisations to support the RMG sector and other key industries for decent economic growth for Bangladesh in the wake of LDC graduation," said Tuomo Poutiainen, Bangladesh country director of International Labour Organisation.
"By promoting fundamental principles and rights at work, we can boost RMG and other industries to accelerate Bangladesh's journey towards sustainable development goals" he added.
"We are working closely with factories through this program to steadily improve compliance with ILO core labour standards and national legislation covering compensation, contracts, occupational safety and health, and working time," said Mohammad Anis Agung Nugroho, program manager of the Better Work Bangladesh.