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Bangladesh: 81 per cent apparel units without a research cell

A report by World Bank published in November, around 81 per cent of the apparel factories in Bangladesh have no Research and Development (R&D) cell while research is the key to development of economy in present era. That goes to show that only 19 per cent of Bangladeshi apparel factories have a R&D cell each. On the other hand, investment in this sector is equivalent to Africa's countries. India is in the top among South Asian countries with R&D cell. Nearly 56 per cent of Indian factories have R&D cell.

According to the report, as the amount of investment in research is less, progress is less in successful management, efficiency of the workers and the financing. The report suggested Bangladeshi apparel factories use technology and improve workers efficiency through research. The World Bank report also suggested increasing investment for R&D cell of apparel sector. The experts also see the need for more research to develop country's apparel sector and meet the RMG export target $50 billion by 2021. They said to adjust with global change Bangladesh entrepreneurs have to go for new trend and research.

Executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Ahsan Mansur observed research institutes don't play direct role in any sector for expansion of sector-wise trade except the agriculture. Research on quality of goods and creating innovation in design is essential in trade related sectors. VP of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers & Exports Association (BGMEA) Mahmud Hasan Babu says two types of R&D are necessary for the RMG sector. One, is research to bring quality development and diversity and other is the development of efficiency. There is R&D in about 50-60 factories in developing quality and creating efficiency in our country. Besides, research is being carried out in appointing efficient persons including industrial engineers.