Pranta Biswas, Special Correspondent, Textile Focus
Textile Focus & RedCarpet 365 Ltd. successfully organized their regular event “ TexTalk- talking about textile” on “Bangladesh Textile Industry & Industry 4.0”, on November 08, 2019, at International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka. This was held on the 03rd day of BIGTEX, Bangladesh Int’l Dyes & Chemicals Expo, Bangladesh Int’l Print, Pack & Sign Expo & Bangladesh Fabric & Yarn Expo organized by RedCarpet 365 Ltd. The panel discussion was moderated by – Prof. Dr. Engr. Md. Humaun Kabir, Pro Vice Chancellor, Northern University Bangladesh while the keynote was presented by Maeen Md. Khairul Akter, Managing Editor of Textile Focus and Lecturer, Department of Textile Engineering Management, Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) with a presentation on “Bangladesh Textile Industry & Industry 4.0”. Distinguished panel speakers Faruque Hassan, Honorary Consul General of Greece to Bangladesh & Managing Director of Giant group; Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman CIP, President, The Institution of Textile Engineers & Technologist (ITET) & Managing Director, HAMS Group; Syed Mohammad Ismail, Country Head, Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd; Md. Abdur Rashid, Managing Director, SGS Bangladesh Ltd; Dr. Md. Mahbubul Haque, Prof & Head, Department. of Textile Engineering, Daffodil International University were present as panel discussion members. M A Islam Riyadh, Editor, of Textile Focus coordinated the session. Textile Focus shares the key discussions of the event below for our readers-
‘Challenges’ in RMG are now turning into ‘Crisis’
Faruque Hassan, Honorary Consul General of Greece to Bangladesh & Managing Director, Giant group
Mr. Faruque Hassan thinks it’s time to discuss the present and future scenarios of our textile and readymade garment sector. During the last 20 years, very few new improved and value-added products have been introduced, though we are at a good pace on the business track. Only 1-2% of raw cotton, the basic core material of garments is produced in our country, the rest are imported from other countries. In this condition still, we are in 2nd largest garments exporters country. Our industry is always facing challenges, now those challenges have turned into a crisis. In this situation industry, the 4.0 revolution is very much important to mitigate those crises. In order to create new markets industrialists, technical persons, and textile engineers, all have to prioritize new product design research and development. Coming out from basic products we must focus on special products like geotextile, and industrial textiles combined with jute products. The use of man-made fiber can help to improve our negative growth conditions. Incentives for manmade fiber-based products can take our industry export just as for cotton from 700 million $ to 6 billion $. Without Govt. support and ethical fair price from buyers, it would be tough to sustain new factories and as well as our garments industry.
Skilled manpower is the ultimate strength of our industry
Md. Shafiqur Rahman CIP, President, The Institution of Textile Engineers & Technologist (ITET) & Managing Director, HAMS Group
Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman said, Textile industry- the highest contributor to our economy is now at a low ebb and textile leaders are tensed about ongoing huge factory shutdown incidents. Decreasing sales volume relative to high production volume is the main cause of factory shutdown. Diversified product launching, usage of manmade fibre, and prioritizing small industries and skilled manpower can be the ultimate solution to overcome this tough situation. He believes, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are highly talented to adapt to any sustainability issue very first. Engagement in Government initiatives can help the industry more to sustain itself more. Already Govt. has established more than 40 textile institutions comprising B.Sc. and Diploma education. He urged the Government for ensuring quality education with an updated curriculum and adequate research scope. He also raised his voice assuring proper honor for the Textile Engineers and stands for CADRE facility in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS).
Industry 4.0 is about networking & navigation, partnership collaboration, and supporting each other
Syed Mohammad Ismail, Country Head, Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd.
Mr. Syed Mohammad Ismail disclosed his concern regarding crucial moments our industry is passing at present. “We must realize the global impact of Industry 4.0 as a nation & also as an industry leader. If we fail to understand it then our industry can be shifted to other countries undoubtedly” said Mr. Ismail. During the last 8 years in Europe per garment, cost decreased by almost 17% just by adopting industry 4.0 & using technological advancement. Artificial intelligence (AI) gives a compound effect and makes big data navigation which makes panic in our industry. But our industry already has started moving with new terms. A few years ago our country was the highest purchase destination by 47% of buyers. According to the 2019 report results has been declined. So the situation comes to a conclusion that buyers are thinking, it’s not about offshoring, not about nearshoring, it’s about onshoring. He expressed some responsibilities from the technical head, marketing head and knowledgeable society to help the industry by supporting knowledge. Otherwise, not only industrialists but also the whole society will suffer a lot.
Image crisis, an unpleasant truth about Bangladesh
Md. Abdur Rashid, Managing Director, SGS Bangladesh Ltd.
Mr. Rashid shared his experience when a company from another country makes a business plan with Bangladesh, they fear thinking, “they would get the right product at a right time or not”. It happens because of our image crisis. He said Global companies like SGS Bangladesh Ltd. whose core activity is to ensure foreign buyers the right manufacture from our country so that they will get the right product at right time can play a strong role to develop our industry image. Being concerned and Liable to our textile society. Mr. Rashid offered the opportunity to visit SGS modern testing Lab and some free training courses on the global textile testing procedures for textile students from different universities who are studying textile engineering all over the country.
Automation doesn’t stimulate worker dismissal
Dr. Md. Mahbubul Haque, Prof. & Head, Dept. of Textile Engineering, Daffodil International University
Dr. Mahbubul Haque said automation is spreading all over the industry, but it doesn’t mean we need no workers. In this case, he inspirits nothing to fear. The industry can’t be imagined without human workers. We obviously need more humans but now highly skilled with technological and technical knowledge. He forced in his speech to focus on spinning & weaving and producing our own skilled experts to make the industry more sustainable. Universities, there must be introduced the latest technological improvement techniques.
Moderator Prof. Dr. Engr. Md. Humaun Kabir, Pro Vice Chancellor, Northern University Bangladesh consummated the session by thanking all the panel members, guests & audience presented there. The panel discussion session ended with a group photo session and a celebration 3rd anniversary of Textile Focus by cutting the cake.