Last week, WRAP’s Director of Compliance Administration Avedis Seferian was a keynote speaker at the Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (BATEXPO) of 2011, held annually by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Speaking to a crowd of 200 that included Bangladesh’s Secretary of Commerce Md. Ghulam Hussain and William Hanna, the European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh, Seferian focused on the challenges of compliance while exporting ready-made garments (RMG).
In his presentation, which took place during the afternoon session on December 11, 2011, Seferian covered the origins of compliance programs, provided an overview of social compliance and discussed general labor issues as well as specific issues facing Bangladesh. Seferian also provided helpful information on what social compliance programs look for from suppliers.
After enumerating all the export challenges, Seferian concluded with the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of compliance. Discussing the question “Why Comply?,” Seferian detailed the business case for a compliance, as it provides a return on investment, a systematic approach to management, more efficient production and lower worker turnover, among other benefits.
His speech drew numerous follow-up inquiries from the crowd.
“The questions from the audience made clear that compliance is becoming an increasingly important issue. Those in attendance represented owners of factories and the leaders in this industry, and to hear them giving this issue the serious consideration that it deserves is very heartening. The event reinforced my conviction that compliance is alive and well in Bangladesh and that factories are attuned to the challenges that need to be addressed,” said Seferian.
Later in the day, both special guests Hanna and Hussain emphasized the importance of compliance as the Bangladeshi apparel export sector continues to grow and spoke positively of the RMG industry.
Seferian’s keynote speech was part of the three-day BATEXPO Conference that featured 150 exhibitors—including several that were WRAP certified facilities —and was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center, in Dhaka, from December 10 – 12, 2011.
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