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EU assures Bangladesh of continuing GSP facility: BGMEA
Jul '13
The European Union has assured Bangladesh that it would not follow the US on the continuation of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facilities, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Addressing ‘Meet the Press’ at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) conference, BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam said the EU has assured Bangladesh that unlike the US, it would continue extending the GSP benefits to Bangladesh.
Mr. Islam said the Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry is presently passing through a crucial phase, Bangladesh news agency BSS reported.
Diversifying products, making high-end garments, and penetrating new markets are necessary to give a boost to the Bangladesh RMG sector, Mr. Islam noted.
Talking about the withdrawal of the GSP facility to Bangladesh by the US Government, the BGMEA president said it would have been better if the US imposed a restriction on duty-free imports, instead of withdrawing the facility.
He said Bangladesh can earn US$ 40 billion a year through export of garments, provided there is political stability, infrastructure growth and positive campaign to build the country’s image.
Recent accidents like the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse have raised questions regarding safety and work conditions in Bangladesh RMG factories, and have also prompted the US Administration to suspend the GSP facility until work conditions improve.
If the EU decides to follow the US in withdrawing the GSP facility, it would be a severe blow to Bangladesh’s RMG industry, as it would mean the end of the duty-free facility enjoyed in the EU market by the Bangladesh garment sector.
Meanwhile, more than 50 global retailers have signed to a legally binding building safety agreement, wherein each of the signatory brands has agreed to contribute up to US$ 500,000 a year towards installation of fire safety measures and rigorous factory inspections in garment manufacturing units across Bangladesh.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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