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Bangladesh's GSP suspension not permanent: US Ambassador
Jul '13
Mr. Dan W Mozena
Mr. Dan W Mozena
The suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility to Bangladesh by the Obama administration is not a permanent one, and it can be reviewed, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena has said.
If one more accident like the Tazreen Fashions fire or the Rana Plaza collapse happens, the world would become sick of Bangladesh. Hence, the suspension of GSP would help Bangladesh in ensuring that such accidents never happen again, Mr. Mozena told reporters after visiting an industry in Narayanganj.
The Ambassador said the GSP suspension has thrown up an opportunity for Bangladesh to become the leading apparel exporter in the world.
He clarified that the GSP status was suspended, and not cancelled, and hence it can be reviewed.
Last week, the US suspended GSP privileges to Bangladesh after a six-year review found serious shortcomings in safety and labour standards at readymade garment factories.
If the workplace safety and labour rights issues are addressed, it would mark the beginning of Bangladesh’s journey to become the top clothing exporter, Mr. Mozena said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has also requested the US Government to reconsider its decision to suspend GSP status to Bangladesh.
Speaking to journalists, BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam said he will also urge the US Government to take initiatives to provide a commercially meaningful entry of goods in the US, for those products that originate from the least developed countries like Bangladesh, as per a 2005 WTO Summit declaration.
Although Bangladesh’s garment sector did not enjoy any benefit under the GSP, the sector would still be indirectly affected as the suspension mars the country’s image, Mr. Islam said.
Separately, speaking in Parliament, Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia urged the US Government to restore GSP facility for Bangladeshi items in the US market.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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