Pakistan: Inditex, H&M, Bestseller and C&A join Factory Safety Agreement
Launched last December to improve safety conditions in Pakistani textile factories, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety announces that Bestseller, C&A, H&M, Inditex, Otto and PVH will represent the signatory brands on its board.
This agreement is a Pakistani version of the eponymous mechanism deployed almost ten years ago in Bangladesh, after the worldwide repercussions caused by the Rana Plaza tragedy. The organisation aims to bring manufacturers, principals and government representatives around the table to set the framework for improving the arrangements in the Pakistani textile sector. This sector generates $2.6 billion worth of textiles and clothing each year.
"With the signing of the agreement with Pakistan and the commitment of our brands to this new safety programme, we renew our commitment to a long-term sourcing relationship with Pakistan," says a joint statement from the signatory brands and groups. "We encourage all brands worldwide to sign the Pakistan Accord and join us in our collective commitment to raise safety standards at our suppliers' factories in Pakistan."
Nearly 200 brands had signed up to the Pakistan Accord, not to be confused with the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a similar US-dominated initiative that disbanded in 2018. Around one hundred Pakistani textile and garment companies, representing 500 factories and $20 billion in exports, are said to have taken part in the new Accord. The international trade union groups IndustriALL and UNI Global Union are among the members.
By 2021, the country ranked tenth among the world's major apparel exporters, behind India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Pakistan's textile and clothing industry is estimated to account for 46% of the local manufacturing industry, generating 8.5% of GDP and some 25 million direct and indirect jobs.
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