BRAC University (BRACU) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the collection of credible and comprehensive data about the RMG industry to prepare a publicly accessible interactive online map of the industry.
The MoU signing took place on 10 December 2018 at BKMEA Dhaka office with the presence of senior officials of BRACU and BKMEA.
The digital mapping project is being implemented by BRAC University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), coordinated by BRAC USA, with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and BKMEA as strategic partners, along with lead funding from C&A Foundation. DRFM-B will also be guided by a multi-stakeholder Project Advisory Committee (PAC), including representatives of workers, NGOs, employers, and industry associations.
The signing ceremony was chaired by the first Vice-President of BKMEA Mr. Mansur Ahmed. He said, “Local entrepreneurs played a vital role in spreading our garment items worldwide.” In 2017-18 fiscal year, 2,100 small, medium and large enterprises contributed 41.42 percent (15.19 billion) in supplying quality standard products to international markets, he pointed out.
Mr. Ahmed observed that this project will help achieve the prosperity of Bangladesh in future. Former IBA director, the Team Leader of DRFM-B, and Adviser of CED-BRACU Professor Dr Rahim B Talukdar said, “The project will play a far-reaching role in carrying out the credibility of the international buyers and brands as Bangladesh is the world’s second-knitwear exporter. This database will help people by providing them all types of information about knit sectors.”
The ‘Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh’ (DRFM-B) Project is the first ever to digitally map the entire export-oriented garment sector in Bangladesh. It marks a transformative industry shift toward more transparency.
The second Vice-President of BKMEA Mr. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, in his speech, also emphasized on the project’s vision towards an accountable RMG industry in Bangladesh. The Project manager of DRFM-B Mr Syed Hasibuddin Hussain presented the summary of the project.
This locally owned and managed project will collect credible, comprehensive, and accurate data on ready-made garment (RMG) factories across Bangladesh and exhibit it on a publicly available, online map. The map will provide an industry-wide database of factories, including names, locations, numbers of workers, product types, export countries, certifications, and brands and buyers. Verification will be crowd sourced to the public to ensure that information remains up-to-date and accurate.
The public map will go live in early-2019 with the Dhaka district (cluster) data. The final version of the map showcasing all garment-producing districts is expected to be completed by mid-2021.