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BGMEA seeks Tk5.5 crore from WTO fund for research and innovation

In a bid to develop the required infrastructure to increase productivity and for moving towards value-added products manufacturing, BGMEA sought financial support from the Ministry of Commerce.

As a part of its financial support, the apparel makers demanded Tk5.5 crore from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) fund of the World Trade Organization (WTO) given to the Commerce Ministry.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq made the demand in a meeting with the Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at his secretariat on 22 July in Dhaka.

The BGMEA placed a proposal to the ministry mentioning the detailed plan of fund uses.

“With her office bearer, BGMEA President Rubana Huq today (Monday) in a meeting sought Tk5.5 crore from the WTO fund to use it for the betterment of the sector and to increase productivity through research and innovation,” Tipu Munshi said Textile Today.

As a member country of the World Trade Organization (WTO), we get fund from the organization for business development. The Commerce Ministry is considering their demand and it would provide the fund, said the Minister.

The ministry now has about Tk3.5 crore and I am hopeful to get rest Tk2.5 crore, he added.

“The WTO provides funds to its members country as a technical assistant band for business development. As apparel makers, we have sought Tk5.5 crore from WTO’s EIF Fund, which is given to Commerce Ministry,” BGMEA Vice President Arshad Jamal Dipu told Textile Today.

We have sought the fund for research and innovation, Establishment of Productivity Centre, developing a harmonized software toll for planning and product innovation to move for higher value addition, said Dipu, Chairman of Tusuka Fashions Ltd.

These initiatives are aimed at improving the quality of the product and ensuring new products designs as the fashion industry is always changing very fast, said Dipu.

Apparel sector, the largest contributor to national exports, has contributed 84.21%, or $34.13 billion to the total export receipts in the last fiscal year. The sector posted 11.49% growth over last fiscal year earnings of $30.61 billion.

Of the $34.13 billion, Knitwear products fetched $16.88 billion, which is 11.19% higher than last fiscal year. Woven items earned $17.24 billion, registering an 11.79% growth.

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