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EU laying foundation for a safer, sustainable, competitive RMG sector in Bangladesh: Ambassador Whiteley

EU laying foundation for a safer, sustainable, competitive RMG sector in Bangladesh: Ambassador Whiteley

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“Together, we are laying the foundation for a safer, more sustainable, and globally competitive RMG sector in Bangladesh," he said

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UNB

Publisted at 1:32 PM, Tue Jun 11th, 2024

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Ambassador of the European Union to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley has said the EU aims to achieve economic growth and strengthen its competitiveness through the green energy transition, environmental protection, and sustainable resource use without compromising the environment.

“Together, we are laying the foundation for a safer, more sustainable, and globally competitive RMG sector in Bangladesh," he said.

The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the EU’s recently adopted ‘Due Diligence Directive’ and explained how EU policies, both internal and external, are guided by the European Green Deal and the EU Climate Law, with the legally binding commitment to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday announced a successful completion  of stakeholder engagement and grant cheque distribution event for the program to support safety retrofits and environmental upgrades in the Bangladeshi Ready-Made Garments (RMG) Sector Project (SREUP).

The event, held at Utshab Hall, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden, gathered key stakeholders from the sector to exchange insights, share updates on the SREUP project advancements, distribute investment grants, and explore the future possibilities of sustainable finance in Bangladesh’s RMG sector.

The SREUP project offers low-cost loans and incentive grants through financial institutions.

It is designed to strengthen the environmental and economic sustainability of the RMG sector through a EUR 50 million-credit facility (AFD and co-financed by EUR 14.29 million grant contribution from EU, KfW, GIZ and Government of Bangladesh being implemented by Bangladesh Bank), said the EU Embassy in Dhaka. 

Inaugurating the event, Dr Md Kabir Ahmed, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank, extended gratitude to Charles Whiteley, European partners, and key stakeholders, highlighting their collective commitment to advancing the RMG sector and emphasised the need for a safer, greener, and more resilient RMG industry.

Cécilia Cortese, Deputy Country Director-Bangladesh, Agence Française de Développement (AFD); Michael Sumser, Country Director, KfW Office Dhaka; and Nagaraj K, Country Head, TÜV SÜD Bangladesh (Pvt.) Ltd also graced the event with their presence and speeches.

A panel discussion titled ‘Advancing Sustainable Finance for Greener RMG Sector’ featured key representative from the European Union, Edwin Koekkoek (Team Leader, Green Inclusive Development, European Union); Mohammad Anis Agung Nugroho (International Labour Organization, Programme Manager, Better Work, Bangladesh); Shovon Islam (Managing Director, Sparrow Group of Industries); Peter Ford (Program Lead, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, H&M Group); Sheikh Mohammad Maroof (Additional Managing Director & Chief Business Officer, City Bank PLC); and Dr. Kabir Ahmed (Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank). 

The panel discussion was moderated by Nawshad Mustafa, Director (PSD-3), Bangladesh Bank followed by an open discussion and Q&A session.

Nurun Nahar, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank, expressed gratitude at the "Stakeholder Engagement & Grant Cheque Distribution Event for the SREUP project."

She highlighted Bangladesh's position as the second-largest garment exporter and emphasized the sector's role in foreign exchange and women's empowerment. 

She urged continued efforts to improve safety, sustainability, and industry growth, thanking AFD, the EU, KfW, GIZ, and the Ministry of Finance for their support.

An 'Investment Grant Cheque Distribution Ceremony' was held, featuring representatives from nine investment grant recipient RMG factories and participatory financial institutions (PFI). 

The event concluded with closing remarks by Moni Shankar Kundu, Director and Project Director of the SREUP, Bangladesh Bank.

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