Nine major apparel manufacturing countries, including Bangladesh, have joined hands to improve prices paid by international retailers and brands, prompted into action by bad experiences since the pandemic’s emergence. “This is an initiative to work together as a consultative body mainly to improve the buying practices of the international clothing retailers and brands,” said Miran Ali, Global spokesperson of STAR Network. The platform has brought together the demand from countries in Asia, Middle East and North Africa. Egypt is also trying to join the initiative soon, said Ali, who is also a Director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), a platform of the local garment suppliers. The nine countries account for 70 percent of the global garment trade. So, it is a strong global platform for improvements, he said.