Dutch Trade Minister due Sunday

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands Lilianne Ploumen arrives here on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, mainly to discuss working conditions in the RMG sector.The Netherlands will contribute 9 million Euro for the improvement of the working conditions in the garment industry.
Together with the private sector, associations such as BGMEA and knowledge institutes in the Netherlands as well as ILO, the Netherlands wants to support the industry to grow in a responsible manner, according to sources at the Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka.
Prior to her visit, Minister Ploumen said it is time to improve the working conditions and “all involved parties — the textile sector, manufacturers, consumers and governments — must now take the responsibility to break the vicious circle”.
Together with Commerce Minister GM Quader, Ploumen will chair the Consultative Meeting on donor support in the RMG sector which will take place on June 16.
This meeting will mark the start of donor support in the field of RMG, which will be followed up by the Local Consultative Group on Private Sector Development and Trade that is co-chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
She will also take part in the signing of a Declaration of Intent with BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) to introduce an initiative which will increase corporate social responsibility and innovative leadership in the garment sector on Sunday.
Several other meetings are planned with important stakeholders in the field of the RMG sector, e.g. the International Labour Organization (ILO) and German Development Organization (GIZ), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and trade unions, and a meeting is planned with Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni.
Minister Ploumen will conclude her two-day stay in Bangladesh with a visit to some garment factories, the Rana Plaza Complex and have a dialogue with survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP).
The minister is keen to hear more about their personal experiences and is interested in their opinion on how to avoid these awful accidents in the future.
At the CRP, she will sign a contract of around 26.000 Euro to assist in the rehabilitation of survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy.
Minister Ploumen also has a meeting planned with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The garment sector is the backbone of Bangladesh’s exports representing close to 80 percent of the overall export earnings.
The industry is facing challenges in terms of human resources, skilled labor force and awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility. (Source: UNB)

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