Dhaka: The Walt Disney Company has decided to resume its production of branded merchandise in Bangladesh after over eight years of pulling out of the country’s factories, said apparel industry leaders.
“The Walt Disney Company has decided to include Bangladesh in its Permitted Sourcing Country list with International Labour Standard audits,” said Faruque Hassan, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on July 2.
Back in 2013, the company stopped its production activities in factories of Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza Building collapse which killed over 1,100 people, mostly readymade garment workers.
It had announced that the company would consider permitting production in Bangladesh in future if factories agree to partner with the Better Work programme.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan welcomed the timely move by Walt Disney in recognition of the all-out progress and transformation in the industry, particularly in areas of workplace safety, social standards and environmental sustainability.
He said that factories participating in the ILO’s Better Work Bangladesh programme would be entitled to become a vendor while they needed to participate in the Nirapon or RMG Sustainability Council along with specific remediation fulfilment criteria.
According to the BGMEA President, Bangladesh’s RMG industry has made unprecedented efforts and investment to ensure safety covering fire, electrical and structural integrity and a robust follow up of factory remediation to create a culture of safety while promoting the well‑being of the workers.
The entire safety transformation programme was supported and facilitated by the government, ILO, international brands, manufacturers and global unions in a transparent manner.
‘With the reinstatement of Bangladesh as a permitted souring country, we will be able to attract orders of more than USD 500 million,’ the BGMEA President hoped.