Session 1: State of Bangladesh Garment Industry
The panelists in this session will discuss the historical progression of the garment industry in Bangladesh over the last four decades in the context of a need for efficiency and continued sustainable growth. The discussion will highlight the road to emergence of the second largest exporter of garment products in the world and its role in the growth of textile and other linkage industries in Bangladesh and in the creation of jobs for women and their empowerment. The panelists will discuss the role of innovation, green technology, efficient use of water and energy resources, and sustainable business practices.
Session 2: Globalization and Labor Standards
In this session the panelists will explore how the challenges of globalization impact on workplace safety and working conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry, the problems of achieving international standards under current conditions in Bangladesh and the role that the overseas consumers and brands, the local factories, governments and NGOs can play in bringing safety and working conditions up to a level of international acceptability. At that point Bangladesh should be able to play a positive role in assuring transparency and effectiveness as a model for other countries.
Session 3: Trade and Investment Cooperation - Worker rights and Safety
This panel will discuss how changes in policy by the Governments of US, Bangladesh and other countries as well as action by manufacturing factories, brands and retailers can help to improve workplace safety for garment and other workers. The panelists will discuss the status of US administration recommended action plan for the Government of Bangladesh after last year factory disasters. The panelists will discuss the status of potential reinstatement of GSP trade benefits as well as the impact of removing the trade barriers of the Bangladesh products in order to boost the Bangladesh economy.
Session 4: Working Condition, Fire and Building Safety Challenges
The panelists in this session will explore why the infrastructural development in Bangladesh has not kept pace with the growth of the industry. They will discuss possible solutions to these challenges. Specifically, they will chart a path on how to ensure suppliers, manufacturers and buyers participation in overcoming the safety and health issues of the workers. The panelists will explore appropriate business models and optimal (efficient) allocation of resources for implementing the best practices.
Session 5: Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing
The panelists will discuss the need for increased visibility and transparency in the supply chain with the aim of improving workers' safety and work place benefits. They will elaborate how together with the suppliers and exporters the brands and retailers can identify and assess risk, make the supply chain process more transparent and manage risk. The discussion will stress how Bangladeshi suppliers can work together with the fashion houses and retailers in monitoring, cost-sharing, and process improvement for greater efficiency. The discussion will also focus on stablishing reliable supply chain governance as well as role of brands, governments, NGOs, and local enterprises in achieving these goals.
Session 6: Role of International Development Partners
The panelists will discuss the role of international development agencies. They will explain the importance of brands/retailers, factories, and testing labs working and communicating together to establish a clear plan to check for product safety compliance, as well as minimizing the costs associated with this. The panelists will provide recommendations on how to enhance the partnership with development organizations for sustainable trade relations to improve the current structure of fair wages, benefits, occupational safety, health, insurance, job security and training for garment workers.
See the full Magazine from here.