Mumbai — A group of socially responsible investors has urged 160 major retailers who source clothes from Bangladesh, to back the extension of an agreement that promotes the safety of millions of workers in garment factories in the South Asian nation. The Bangladesh Investor Initiative, whose members are shareholders in several retailers, has asked the companies to support a three-year extension of a legally binding accord to improve building and fire safety across the textile industry. The Bangladesh Accord was signed by global brands and trade unions in 2013 after the Rana Plaza disaster, when about 1,100 people were killed after a garment factory complex collapsed — sparking outrage over poor working conditions in the sector. Only 60 of the 220 companies in the Accord have signed an agreement to extend the programme until 2021, says the network of institutional investors, which represents nearly 150 investors with collective assets valued at about $3.7-trillion. The accord has sig...

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