Bangladesh lists 3,723 RMG factories on MiB website

A 5-year initiative called Mapped in Bangladesh (MiB) compiled and mapped data of export-oriented garment factories (RMGs) across Bangladesh using the factory census approach. It mapped 3,723 factories as of mid-March 2022, a press release said.

The MiB project is implemented by the Center for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) of Brac University (BracU), funded by the Laudes Foundation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and coordinated by BRAC. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) are the strategic partners of the project. The project is also supported by the Department of Inspection of Factories and Establishments (DIFE) of the Department of Labor and Employment (MoLE).

According to the latest MiB data, 2,754 factories are members of BGMEA and BKMEA.

However, there are no official statistics on the number of export-oriented RMG factories operating in Bangladesh without being members of BGMEA and BKMEA, the countries to which these factories export, the products produced by these factories and on the brands for which these factories work. These factories are qualified as non-member factories that export at least 80% of their productions to different countries. So far, it has added 969 factories (non-members) to the map to increase openness and accountability.

MiB, the digital mapping of the industry, shows that the country’s export-oriented RMG facilities employ a total of 2,77,8677 people, significantly less than the 4.0 million claimed by contractors. However, MiB followed certain criteria to select export-oriented RMG factories according to their factory definition, the main reason for the differing claims.

MiB has successfully completed the first-ever Digital Data Mapping Transparency Mechanism and the project will end in March 2022.

MiB’s goal is to provide accurate, authentic, and up-to-date RMG plant information to all industry stakeholders in a manner that enables increased efficiency, productivity, accountability, and transparency by following an in-depth data verification and validation methodology.

In the 64 districts of Bangladesh, a census of RMG factories was undertaken. The majority of RMG factories are concentrated in only four districts, namely: Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chattogram. As of February 2022, other RMG factories are spread across 17 districts in Bangladesh.

MiB offers a transparency mechanism enabling sector accountability and an evidence-based decision-making tool for sector stakeholders in a participatory and collective action approach with public and private governance entities and is aligned with the national mandate “Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021”.

According to Afshana Choudhury, CED Co-Director and Head of MiB Operations, University of Brac; “The MiB has covered basic industry-critical factory information such as name, address, number of employees, brand affiliation, etc. in its digital platform. It also provided product-specific factory types, such as knitting, weaving, sweater, etc.”

“This information can also be used by the government to formulate policies and organize various development efforts involving manufacturers and workers in the RMG sector,” she added.

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