A memorandum of understanding was signed on Tuesday by leading textile and garment sector industries for cleaner production practices and investing in technologies that reduce water consumption.
The Netherlands minister for development cooperation, Ben Knapen, also signed the memorandum of understanding with International Finance Cooperation, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Export Oriented Garment Washing Industries Owners Association, Dutch non-government organization Solidaridad and leading garment brands.
At the ceremony, Ben Knapen said this project would enhance the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the textile sector in Bangladesh by helping it to adopt cleaner production practices.
The surrounding communities will also have a cleaner environment, he said.
The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Faruk Khan, Dutch ambassador Alphons JAJMG Hennekens and IFC regional business line manager of South Asia Jeeva Perumapillai also spoke at the programme.
They said in Bangladesh over 1,700 garment washing, dyeing and finishing units discharge 56 million tonnes of waste water, which poses serious threats to public health and the environment.
As Bangladesh’s textile and garment industry accounts for nearly 79 per cent of export earnings and employs 3.5 million people, it needs to adopt cleaner production technology for sustainable development, speakers said.
IFC officials said this would be a three year project which would cost approximately 6.5 million dollar.
Leading garment brands that participated were AB Lindex, C & A, Espirit, G-STAR, H & M, Kappahl, New Look Retailers Ltd, Primark, Tesco, WE Europe, Carrefour and Levi Strauss & Co.
The signing ceremony was held in The Westin Hotel of the capita