Experts at a webinar said innovative ‘value- chain-based solutions’ are required to help all the market players cope with the crisis, ensure rebound and smooth recovery and ultimately make the value chain resilient.
The medium-term recovery of the global apparel value chain from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic has been set back by the prolonged demand slump.
It is difficult to address these medium-term challenges through national-level intervention alone, they opined.
These observations were made at an international webinar titled-` Recovery of the Apparels Sector of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka: Is a Value-chain-based Solution Possible? ’ jointly organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) in partnership with Southern Voice held on Tuesday, said a press release today.
CPD’s Executive Director, Dr Fahmida Khatun said that the CPD and IPS have recently conducted a joint study in collaboration with the Southern Voice to analyse the potential of a value-chain-based solution to support the recovery of the local apparel sector in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
She discussed how the pandemic has disrupted the global apparel value chain and shared that the study presents probable solutions to the challenges that have emerged for the apparel-supplying countries, particularly in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Mr Husni Salieh, Director, Strategic Transformation, MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka, also one of the distinguished panellists of the event, shared that the value of a value chain is truly optimised when its stakeholders work collaboratively particularly during the crisis.
He also added that building resilience within a relatively diversified but existing value chain has the capability to face the current and future crisis successfully.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, CPD, moderated the session.
He stated that the study’s findings are crucial as all the stakeholders of the apparel value chain had been affected by the pandemic.
He also said that, therefore, all the stakeholders have to play certain roles to find a solution that ensures the sustainability of the industry.
CPD’s Chairman, Professor Rehman Sobhan, said that ILO could consider playing an entrepreneurial role in bringing together international buying countries with supplying countries to restructure global demand management.
He further added that tripartite exercise should be carried out, including government, employers, and workers to produce a mutually accommodating system of unemployment insurance to address not just the immediate impact of the COVID crisis but a longer-term crisis.
Among others, Member of CPD Board of Trustees and Former Finance Minister M Syeduzzaman, few key global apparels value-chain stakeholders and media professionals were also present at the dialogue.