UK minister in RMG 'check'

British minister of state for international development Alan Duncan arrived in Dhaka on Monday ahead of the first anniversary of the worst-ever disaster in Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry -- the Rana Plaza collapse.

Published : 31 March 2014, 12:48 PM
Updated : 31 March 2014, 01:43 PM

The British High Commission in Dhaka said he would check out progress on health and safety standards in the garment sector and support mechanism in the industry, especially for women.

Duncan will stay in Dhaka for two days.

The building collapse killed more than 1100 people, mostly garment workers, on Apr 24 last year.

Duncan met survivors and families of the dead in June last year, promising UK aid amounting to $27 million to improve factory working condition and for workers' skill development training.

The ready-made garment industry, Bangladesh’s main export earner, employs nearly four million people, mostly women.

Duncan would visit Savar CRP, where many of the victims were being rehabilitated, to meet and talk to them before leaving on Apr 2.

British High Commission said he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, and other political leaders including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

British High Commission in a media release said he would also “press for political dialogue to strengthen democratic accountability”.

He will meet with people involved in the garment supply chain to discuss progress and challenges.

“As the largest bilateral grant donor to Bangladesh, the UK Government is committed to supporting Bangladesh’s development and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals,” the high commission said.

File Photo

Duncan was appointed to his current portfolio in May 2010.

He oversees UK’s development efforts in Asia, Caribbean and Overseas Territories, Middle East and North Africa – excluding Syria and Libya, and West and Central Asia –excluding Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He has been the Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton since 1992.

This is his fourth visit in his current role.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher