Garment Industry Call to Action Identifies Priority Countries

The International Working Group of the Garment Industry Call to Action has finalised an initial list of priority countries and is now engaged in outreach to international finance institutions.

The Working Group developed criteria to support the identification of priority countries as specified in the Call to Action. Considerations included the level of dependency of the country on the garment industry for jobs and exports, the financial ability of the country to support the garment industry during the health and economic crisis, the liquidity needs for business continuity and payment of worker wages, and the level of social protection provision in in the country. Based on an initial analysis of the information available, the Working Group has so far identified the following potential priority countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan. Analysis of further information and needs will continue as the situation develops and other countries may be added to this list.

As Working Group Coordinators, the IOE and ITUC have written on behalf of all endorsing organisations to the leadership of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund and regional development banks, to request support for the objectives of the Call to Action. The Working Group will also be writing to other institutions. Specifically, the Group will explore how finances available can support measures outlined in the Call to Action including access to credit, unemployment benefits and quick income-support to workers and individuals, no or low-interest short-term loans, tax abatement, duty deferral, fiscal stimulus, and others forms of support.

The Working Group has established a Task Group, which has begun to elaborate the approach to IFIs and a broader range of development partners and institutions. The Working Group welcomes the comments and suggestions of all endorsing organisations as the programme of work for the Call to Action develops, and will arrange webinars in the near future to promote this exchange.