FARUQUE HASSAN, NEW BGMEA PRESIDENT
Faruque Hassan has become the new president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Sammilita Parishad led by Hassan won the biennial election of the apex platform for garment makers securing 24 posts of directors while the other panel, Forum, led by ABM Shamsuddin won 11 posts.
The voters elected 35 directors. A president and seven vice-presidents will be picked from the elected directors.
"I thank all my voters. I congratulate my members who voted for me. I want to unite the BGMEA to face the challenges and help the sector grow," said Hassan after the announcement of the election results.
"I will address the challenges the sector has been facing from the fallouts of the Covid-19 pandemic," he told The Daily Star.
Some 86.56 per cent or 1,996 votes have been cast in the election. Of it, 1,604 out of 1,852 votes were cast in Dhaka zone and 392 out of 461 at Chattogram polling centre.
The polls started at 9am and continued till 7pm without any break, maintaining health and hygiene guidelines. However, some of the voters were seen roaming around the venues without any mask.
For the Dhaka voters, there were 14 booths installed at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden hotel while there were four booths at the port city regional office of the BGMEA for the Chattogram voters.
Syed Ferhat Anwar, chairman of the election board, announced the results at 12:40am at Radisson Hotel in Dhaka today.
Besides Forum and Sammilita Parishad, the Swadhinata Parishad, another panel, also had announced a manifesto, but later it decided not to take part in the election independently and support the Sammilita Parishad.
ABM Shamsuddin is the chairman of Hannan Group, which exported about $92 million worth of garments last year and employs more than 10,000 workers.
Faruque Hassan is the managing director of Giant Group, having annual exports of more than $30 million and employing 6,000 workers.
The BGMEA election is an important event as the industry is the single largest export earning sector and employs 4.2 million workers directly. Millions of people are involved in the industry indirectly.
In fiscal 2018-19, Bangladesh exported garment items worth more than $34.13 billion. The earnings declined to $27.94 billion last fiscal year as sales collapsed in Western markets because of the fallouts of the pandemic.
The sector's contribution to the gross domestic product stands at 15 per cent.