A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Clean and Responsible Production Mechanisms in the Garment Industry” was signed in the capital Wednesday.
Representatives from the Netherlands government, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bangladesh Export Oriented Garment Washing Industries Owners’ Association, Dutch NGO Solidaridad and leading garment brands signed the deal.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ben Knapen, minister for development cooperation of the Netherlands, said: “A cleaner textile industry with sustainable use of water is vital not only for the industry but also for the Bangladeshi population itself”.
He said inefficient and inappropriate water use in the garment industry leads to pollution, health problems and also lowers productivity in the agriculture sector.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Bangladesh Alphons Hennekens, IFC representative Jeeva A Perumalpillai-Essex and BGMEA Vice President Faruque Hassan also spoke at the programme.
Speakers said the programme’s overall objective was to enhance the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the textile wet processing sector in Bangladesh.
The textile is the country’s second largest pollution-releasing industry after tanneries, according to IFC statistics.
The garment brands which are part of the MoU include AB Lindex, Cena, Carrefour SA, G-STAR RAW, Esprit Europe Services, H and M, Levi Strauss and Co, KappAhl, Mothercare PLC, New Look Retailers Ltd., Lindex, Puls Trading Far East Limited, Primark Stores Ltd., Tesco Stores PLC and WE Europe BV.
These brands represent about 40 percent of the European textile market and now want to work together for some 200 Bangladeshi factories.
The Dutch government and the local private entrepreneurs will equally contribute to the three-year project at a cost of several millions of euros.