Celebrating the true potential of Bangladesh in Europe
By Roy Lie Atjam
Best of Bangladesh, a remarkable national branding event organized by the Embassy of Bangladesh under the acumen direction of H.E. Mr. Riaz Hamidullah in conjunction with the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange, the Ministry of Commerce, Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, and in association with Best of Bangladesh(PDS limited).It was quite an experience.
The air was filled with excitement as representatives from various industries came together to showcase their offerings. I was fortunate to have met Mr. Shahriar Alam, MP and State Minister for Foreign Affairs, during a visit to his ministry in Dhaka. The event was held at the Gashouder- Westergas Complex in Amsterdam.
Successful Story of ‘Best of Bangladesh Europe’ in Amsterdam
11th September 2023, Amsterdam: Best of Bangladesh Europe’ has successfully completed in the prestigious venue of Wastergas in Amsterdam on 4th & 5th Sept 2023.
The 2-day nation branding event had been organized by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), with support from the Embassy of Bangladesh, Ministry of Commerce, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh and in association with PDS.
Tipu Munshi, MP, Commerce Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Michiel Sweers, Vice Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Kingdom of the Netherlands; Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Md Siddiqur Rahman, Former president of BGMEA; M Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands; Leslie Johnston, Chief Executive Officer, Laudes Foundation; Pallak Seth, Founder & Vice Chairman, PDS Limited; and Mostafiz Uddin, Founder & CEO, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange; attended the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Best of Bangladesh’.
Tipu Munshi, MP, said “Bangladesh has travelled distance in the past half century. Emerging from a brutal war of independence and the constraints or limitations, aspiration – innovation – resilience of the people reached us to a stage of stability and robust growth.”
Michiel Sweers, Vice Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Kingdom of the Netherlands, said “On behalf of the government of the Netherlands I welcome you all and thank you for choosing Amsterdam as the location of Best of Bangladesh. I believe dialogues here in the Best of Bangladesh will accelerate the momentum of sustainable business.”
Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; said “Presence of some of the best of our entrepreneurs under one roof in Westergas speaks of coming of the age of the drive and innovation of our private sector. Their transcend beyond labour-centric manufacturing. They are increasingly keen to step into many other sectors. As much as business, they are here also to tap into niche technology or innovation with the Dutch or European peers.”
Prof. Jan Peter Balkenende, Minister of State & Former Prime Minister of Kingdom of the Netherlands, in his video message put emphasis on the Netherlands and Bangladesh cooperations for sustainable growth.
Mostafiz Uddin, Founder & CEO, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange, said “Best of Bangladesh Europe is a testament to Bangladesh’s ability in sustainable and responsible manufacturing.”
M Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherland, said “To Europe let alone the Netherlands, contemporary Bangladesh interests on myriad of economic considerations. Growing trade volume is just one pillar.
Three MoU were signed in the inaugural for the development of the industries of Bangladesh. The 1st MoU was signed between
Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and Eindhoven International Project Office (EIPO). The 2nd MoU was signed between Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and Apparel Impact Institution. The 3rd MoU was signed between Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and Oxfam.
More than 35 companies from various fields, including apparel, textiles, agriculture, handicrafts, and other sectors, participated in the initiative.
Over 1000 European visitors, including representatives from brands and retailers, are expected to attend the ‘Best of Bangladesh’ in the two days.
The event hold six interactive panel sessions on the topics “Bangladesh – Perspectives from an Emerging Economy”, “Sustainable Sourcing Realities: Challenges, Achievements & Next Steps”, “Empowering the Future: Advancing Safety & Well-being for Garments Workforce in Bangladesh”, “Bangladesh Agro-Food: A Next Opportunity for Collaboration”, “Impact Investing – The Next Frontier”, and “Sustainable Synergy: Circular Economy, Climate Action & Bangladesh’s Future”.
A Bangladesh Innovation Runway was presented by Pacific Jeans at the event. The Bangladesh Innovation Runway showcased the ability of the country in producing high end, sustainable and innovative apparel products.