Norwatch has spoken with the company’s management on the telephone and has now received an elaboration by e-mail from the general manager, Ali Asgar, who is not at all opposed to improving conditions at the factory. "It is not true that we resist introducing improvements in the factory. Just consider this: we have worked for Grameenphone during the past 11 years, and between 70% and 75% of our production capacity is dedicated to Grameenphone," Asgar wrote.
He pointed out that Mizan Hatim has over the years specialised its production in constantly more advanced products to comply with the needs and demands of Grameenphone (GP).
"Originally we invested half a million dollars in the factory, but by now we have invested altogether $2.8 million to improve our quality and service for Grameenphone. This shows that we wish to increase our business connections with Grameenphone. We consider ourselves one of GP’s family members. How, then, could we refuse to comply with and follow their conditions?", Asgar asked, and added: "Grameenphone’s management has always assisted us with guidelines to improve our quality, service, and safety. This has been done both to me and at the factory. We have always tried to comply with and follow the instructions we have received from Grameenphone."
"With regard to the letter to Grameenphone dated 16 April 2008, our mother tongue is Bengali, not English. Our English is not very good. Perhaps the above-mentioned letter may have caused some misunderstandings between us and GP. We are truly sorry, in case that is what has happened. Our intention was to say that we wish to comply with all the instructions we receive from GP, including those involving health and safety management and child labour. The language in our letter may have caused some confusion and given the impression of the opposite of what we wanted to say. We are truly sorry for having made such a mistake," Asgar wrote.
Norwatch has asked Telenor to comment on the statements from Mizan Hatim Engineering but has not yet received an answer.