October 3, 2013
On 3rd October, 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed among concerned 5 institutions - JICA, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Bangladesh Bank (BB), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to initiate the Program for a safer working environment in the RMG/Knitwear factories after RANA Plaza tragedy. Total amount of TK 100 cr. and building assessment supported by Japanese experts will be provided to RMG/Knitwear factories under the Program.
Two of JICA's on-going projects will contribute to this new initiative in two different aspects - "Financial Sector Project for the Development of SMEs (FSPDSME)" with the BB and "Capacity Development on Natural Disaster Resistant Techniques of Construction and Retrofitting for Public Buildings (CNCRP)" with the Public Works Department. Concessional financing (maximum 10 % interest rate and up to 15 years repayment period with 2 years grace period) to garment factories will be provided by BB through the existing FSPDSME procedure while building assessment on factories supported by JICA experts is promised by PWD prior to financing.
The world is watching how Bangladesh tackles the crisis surrounding the most important sector, and development partners have shown their interest in assisting Bangladesh in this area. Japan also has strong commitment to the safe working environment of the people of Bangladesh. Thus, JICA is now able to express its concrete assistance program by coordinating with various stakeholders.