The RMG industry years, belying the
in Bangladesh has grown phenomenally over the past twenty
2004/05 garment exports amounted to approximately 5.4 billion accounting for 66 percent of the country’s total export earnings3. export markets, the US and the EU, Bangladesh ranked 10th and 3rd, in terms of export value at the end of 2004.
US dollars, In its main respectively,
Despite this seemingly remarkable 1995 there was much discussion of
performance, however, in the the uncertainties looming over
decade from the future of
In December 1994, with the conclusion of the Uruguay Round, the
since 1974 was succeeded by the Agreement on Textile and Clothing The ATC called for a gradual phasing out of all MFA restrictions by the
year 2005. As will be discussed in the following section, the MFA regime provided an opportunity for the RMG industry to be implanted in Bangladesh by inducing a structural shift in the sourcing of global exports of textiles and clothing
and ensuring guaranteed access to some markets.
in the post-MFA
of the RMG industry of view emphasized the solid
position Bangladesh had garments produced with
held over the years an abundant supply
a reliable source of skilled, cheap labour.
pessimists, meanwhile, saw no
chance for Bangladesh to survive in the certain, however, was that performance
global of the
industry and that
as a whole would to workers’ lives would
a substantial extent depend on worker performance be profoundly affected. The main objective of this
paper is to assess the actual impact through a sample survey of workers.
3 According to Economic Trends, published by Bangladesh Bank, garment exports and total exports in 2004/05 were Tk.333.33 billion and Tk.508.35 billion, respectively. The yearly average exchange rate of that year was Tk.61.39 = US$1.