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High commissioner speaks out on Bangladeshi CSR

February 2008

Good practice in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment factories could stop much of the frequent labour unrest in the country, the British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury has told a business gathering in Dhaka.

Many companies in Bangladesh are practising CSR very carefully, he said, but their good practices lack focus.

Choudhury pointed out: ‘Buyers from Europe and North America are explicitly choosing to source goods from socially compliant factories. Having a CSR strategy gives a strong and positive message that the company is ethically and socially responsible and contributing to the country’s overall economic development and welfare.’

The high commissioner was chief guest at a seminar on the business case for CSR in Bangladesh. The seminar marked the start of a project called Corporate Social Responsibility – a Guide for Companies Operating in Bangladesh and the launch of a set of CSR Fact Sheets. It was organized by the British High Commission and UK Trade and Investment and was attended by business owners and executives, foreign buyers and representatives of development partner organizations.

During his speech Choudhury recommended more negotiation between factory owners and workers to resolve conflict. This would encourage more investment and promote stronger growth. He also urged government officials to create a business-friendly environment to attract more local and foreign investment. He said: ‘We will appeal to the government to remove all possible blockades for a congenial business environment.’
 




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