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A public-private dialogue on “Overcoming Challenges towards Modernisation of the Textile Sector” was arranged by Bangladesh Specialised Textile Mills and Powerloom Industries Association (BSTMPIA) Seminar Hall, Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB Bhaban) on 17th July 2016. 

The purpose of this event was to give the opportunity to BSTMPIA members to present the Specialised Textile Sector to the Government representatives, and also present their demands and raise the regulatory problems experienced by the sector.

17Honourable Minister, Mr.Emaz Uddin Ahmed Pramanik, MP,Ministry of Textile and Jute, graced the event as the Chief Guest of the programme, and Mr. M. A Mannan, MP, Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning; Mr.Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan ndc, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Industries; and Mr. Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), First Vice President, FBCCgraced the occasion as the  Special Guests. In his keynote speech, Mr. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan ndc,stated that the quality of the fabric needs to be improved in order to encourage RMG manufacturers and foreign buyers of RMG to reduce their import of fabrics from foreign countries. Higher quality fabric will encourage the BGMEA members and overseas buyers to use more locally made fabric.   He also suggested the establishment of a testing laboratory to provide recognised standard certification that would in turn help the sector issue certification of production.

Ali Sabet, Team Leader, Bangladesh INSPIRED Project and Ms. Anne Raine, Senior Expert, Bangladesh INSPIRED, were present.  Ali Sabet, was also the Guest Speaker of the event. 

There was discussion on the tax and VAT measures proposed in the new FY 2016-17 Budget, with some participants raising their concerns about how  these proposed measures would create uneven competition. In the panel discussion one of the Directors of BSTMPIA, mentioned that in order to modernise textiles mills, low-cost loans are needed. However with the current high interest rate modernisation will be hard to achieve. He suggested a single-digit loan facility for the specialised textile industry in order to stimulate growth and contribute more to the economy.

The keynote speech on “Overcoming Challenges towards Modernisation of the Textile Sector” was presented by Mr. Azizul Haque, President, BSTMPIA. In his keynote speech, Mr. Azizul Haque stated that of the 30,000 to 40,000 specialised textile mills in Bangladesh, only 20% to 30% are modernised and producing high quality export-oriented products. Of the remainder, 70% to 80% are using traditional power-looms to produce Saree, poplin, napkin, lunghi, shirting and suiting. He added that the sector has trained labour, but their experience cannot be fully utilised due to lack of modernisation. He concluded that the sector needs low-cost loans in order to set up modern machinery and to produce high quality products and increase production. Such action would stimulate growth in the sector and lead to a greater contribution to the economy of the country.

Members of the press and media attended the event which was covered by newspapers and television.