factory

By Qazi Arif of Envision Architects

Nearly two weeks have passed since the disaster at Rana Plaza in Savar, Dhaka, which is considered to be the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, and the deadliest structural failure in modern times.

It is easy to simply say the building was poorly constructed. How and why is harder to understand, given the confusion and and buck-passing surrounding building permits and construction regulation. How can this be prevented in future? 

Last week’s tragedy at a nine-storey factory complex in Bangladesh has sparked a long-overdue debate on outsourcing to low-wage workers in precarious conditions and what action multinationals should take.

Coincidentally, it is in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster that the Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest licensor, has stopped production of goods under its brand name in Bangladesh. 

By Ifty Islam of Asian Tiger Capital Partners

The collapse of Rana Plaza, the eight-storey building housing garment factories in Savar, near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has seen more than 300 killed and over 1200 injured, with many hundreds still missing.

Coming only five months after 111 deaths in an earlier factory fire, the overwhelming sentiment in Bangladesh has gone from shock to moral outrage about the scant regard for human life among the factory owners. There have been violent protests across Dhaka by thousands of enraged garment factory workers. 

By Ifty Islam of Asian Tiger Capital Partners

The fire and tragic loss of 112 workers in the Tazreen Factory on November 24 in Ashulia, the hub of Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) industry, has made headlines around the world.

As well as the human and material loss, substantial damage has been done to the image of a sector that accounts for 80 per cent of merchandise exports and to the country as a whole. The cost to Bangladesh’s reputation could be translated into economic losses if the global giants of apparel retailing, led by the US’s Walmart, as well as major trading houses such as Li and Fung, take business elsewhere in their moral indignation and outrage

Getting Chile’s salmon, Ecuador’s bananas and Peru’s asparagus to market poses a huge logistical problem. All of the refrigerated containers needed to transport such produce from Latin America are made in China, and tens of thousands have to be shipped empty halfway round the world first every year, jacking up costs.

Seeing that gap, Denmark’s Maersk Container Industry (MCI), the world’s No. 2 player in the refrigerated container, or “reefer”, market, has announced it is building a $170m plant in San Antonio on Chile’s Pacific coast, close to the capital, Santiago.