New Era | The EU is laying the foundations for a safer, more sustainable and competitive RMG sector in Bangladesh: Envoy

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| UNB photo.

European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley said the EU’s goal is to achieve economic growth and strengthen its competitiveness through the transition to green energy, environmental protection and sustainable use of resources 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 EU climate law, along with a legally binding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions net by at least 55 percent by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday announced the successful completion of the stakeholder engagement event and distribution of subsidy checks under the Support for Safety Modernization and Environmental Improvement in Bangladesh Ready-Made Apparel Project (SREUP) program.

The event, held at Utshab Hall, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden, brought together key industry stakeholders to exchange insights, update on the progress of the SREUP project, distribute investment grants and explore future sustainable financing opportunities in the RMG sector in Bangladesh.

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

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

Inaugurating the event, the Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank, Mr. Kabir Ahmed, thanked Charles Whiteley, European partners and key stakeholders, highlighting their shared commitment to the development of the RMG sector and emphasized the need for a safer, greener and more resilient RMG industry.

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

The panel discussion titled “Advancing Sustainable Finance for a Greener RMG Sector” featured key representatives from the European Union, Edwin Koekkoek (Team Leader, Inclusive Green Development, European Union); Mohammad Anis Agung Nugroho (International Labor Organization, Program Manager, Better Work, Bangladesh); Shovon Islam (Managing Director, Sparrow Group of Industries); Peter Ford (Program Manager, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, H&M Group); Sheikh Mohammad Maroof (Additional Managing Director and Chief Business Officer, City Bank PLC); and 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 question and answer session.

Nurun Nahar, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank, expressed gratitude at the event on ‘Stakeholder Engagement and Distribution of Grant Checks for SREUP Project’.

She highlighted Bangladesh’s position as the second largest exporter of garments and highlighted the sector’s role in foreign exchange and women’s empowerment.

She called for further efforts to improve safety, sustainability and industrial development, thanking AFD, the EU, KfW, GIZ and the Ministry of Finance for their support.

An “investment subsidy check distribution ceremony” was held, attended by representatives of the nine RMG factories that are recipients of investment subsidies and participating financial institutions.

The event concluded with a closing speech by Moni Shankar Kundu, Director and Project Director, SREUP, Bangladesh Bank.