The PPE gowns being loaded on an Emirates flight
The PPE gowns being loaded on a flight Image Credit: Supplied

DHAKA: Bangladesh has joined a select group of countries that manufacture world-class, large-scale Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by shipping 6.5 million PPE gowns to US brand Hanes for ultimate delivery to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In a ceremony at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to mark the occasion, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam joined US Ambassador Earl R. Miller to see off Beximco’s first shipment of PPE to USA.

Beximco CEO and Group Director Syed Naved Husain said the COVID-19 virus had changed how the world works, and Beximco had to urgently respond. “In just two months, we’ve unleashed our world-class manufacturing, technical and design talent to switch over and start making personal protection equipment and help increase the supply of PPE which is urgently needed in Bangladesh and worldwide.”

He said “Bangladesh was well-positioned to become a new hub for PPE manufacturing. This would help keep people safe and secure worldwide while helping Bangladesh`s own economy and ensuring that the large workforce of 4.1 million in the garment sector can still make a good livelihood. Everyone in Bangladesh wants to turn the tide and help save lives. Beximco is leading the way in this regard,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam lauded the role of Beximco’s contribution to Bangladesh’s economy.

He said the like the rest of the world, Bangladesh is also facing toughest times and trying to cope with this pandemic. “And in these trying times, its remarkable to see that within this short span of two months, Bangladesh was able to foray into this very regulated market with such a sensitive healthcare product.”

US Ambassador Miller said the event marked “the first major shipment of PPE into the US”.

“US welcomes Bangladesh’s world-class large-scale PPE production to the global marketplace. The Beximco-Hanes partnership is another great example of how our two great nations are combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” Miller said.

He said all this happened in less than two months. “Imagine, two months from the request from the US. Beximco and Bangladesh was nimble enough to turn production line around so that we can put badly needed PPE on this aircraft behind me and send it to the US.”