An online map containing essential information on export-oriented readymade garment factories situated in the Dhaka district has been launched. The digital database titled ‘Mapped in Bangladesh’ was unveiled by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at BGMEA Apparel Club.
BRAC University developed the digital map titled ‘Mapped in Bangladesh’, with the support of BRAC USA. The initiative has been funded by C&A Foundation. The beta version of the map contains essential data on BGMEA and BKMEA listed RMG factories throughout Dhaka including factory names, GPS locations, number of workers, products, brands and buyers, according to the digital map’s developers. The final version will incorporate data on garment factories and other enterprises throughout the country. “The launch of the online map represents another step towards ‘Digital Bangladesh’, said Tipu Munshi. “The media tends to focus on even the slightest of problems faced by the four million-strong workers in the garment industry. But other prospects and possibilities in this sector are often overlooked,” he said. “Factories face a 25-30% rise in the costs of production after the increase in minimum wages. But this issue doesn’t come up for discussion.”
Syed Hasibuddin Hussain, the project manager for Mapped in Bangladesh, said that the full-fledged version of the map will be of much benefit to stakeholders across the country. “The government, city planners and civil society organisations can utilise this map’s industry dispersion and concentration data. The industry can also use the tool to showcase its capability and enable greater efficiency,” he said. An expanded map, incorporating factories across the country is set to be launched in 2021.