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BGMEA seeks EU support for smoother LDC graduation

Staff Correspondent
11 May 2023 18:29:31 | Update: 11 May 2023 21:28:30
BGMEA seeks EU support for smoother LDC graduation
— Courtesy Photo

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has urged the European Union to extend the transition period of GSP from the current three years to six years.

He said the extension would help Bangladesh to prepare well for smooth graduation from the LDC category and continue the growth momentum even in the post-LDC era, read a press release.

The BGMEA made the request during a meeting with Helena König, deputy secretary general for Economic and Global Issues, European External Action Service (EEAS) in Dhaka on May 10.

Monika Bylaite, deputy head of delegation, South Asia, EEAS; Charles Whiteley, ambassador and head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Dr. Bernd Spanier, Deputy Head of EU delegation in Bangladesh; Maurizio Cian, minister counsellor and head of cooperation; and Jurate Smalskyte Merville, counsellor and team leader; education, Human Development and PFM at the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; and Sameer Sattar, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) were also present at the meeting.

During the meeting, they discussed various issues including trade and investment, Everything But Arms (EBA), Bangladesh relations with the EU in the post-LDC era, and other issues of bilateral importance.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan apprised Helena König of the major developments of Bangladesh’s apparel industry, particularly in terms of workplace safety, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights and welfare.

He also gave an overview of how the RMG industry had been making vital contributions to the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh, especially in terms of poverty alleviation employment generation for millions of people in the country, women empowerment, increasing girls schooling enrollment, and reducing early marriages.

Faruque Hassan highlighted the importance of continued growth of the industry to sustain the achievements made so far in these areas.

Terming the EU as the very important market for Bangladesh’s RMG exports, he highlighted the importance of extension of the specific trade preferences under EU’s GSP scheme to sustain the growth of the industry, thus contributing to the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh.

The BGMEA President also urged the EU to consider waiving the EU's safeguard textile threshold criteria or redesigning the mechanism for Bangladesh in the proposed GSP scheme for 2024-2034 so that Bangladesh could benefit from GSP Plus after the LDC graduation.