H&M chief to visit Bangladesh
Karl-Johan Persson, chief executive officer of the Swedish retail chain H&M, is due in Bangladesh tomorrow (Monday) to attend important meetings with the readymade garment manufacturers and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Three officials from H&M, including the chief financial officer and chief of global marketing, will accompany Persson for the two-day visit, said Siddiqur Rahman, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Persson will hold meetings with the BGMEA leaders and the prime minister, along with making factory tours, according to Rahman. “I cannot disclose specifics of his visit right now,” Rahman added. “But the CEO will definitely discuss issues surrounding the RMG sector of the country, as Bangladesh is an important outsourcing destination for H&M -- the company is increasing its purchase orders every year from Bangladesh,” Rahman said. Moreover, the company is now carrying out some important corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in collaboration with the BGMEA, which the H&M officials are scheduled to discuss during the visit, he added. “A high-powered Chinese business delegation, too, is now visiting Bangladesh for investing in the garment sector in the country. The business delegation has already held meetings with its Bangladeshi counterpart on this matter,” Rahman said. H&M, thanks to its annual purchases worth nearly $1.5 billion, has overtaken Walmart, the world's largest retail chain, as the biggest buyer of Bangladeshi readymade garment products. Founded in 1947, Hennes & Mauritz, popularly known as H&M, has approximately 2,600 stores the world over. H&M operates under five different brands: including H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday.