Bangladeshi garment industry “needs support, not sanctions”, a delegation of visiting UK Members of Parliament (MPs) said at a press conference in Dhaka.
A group of UK MPs, headed by ruling Conservative MP Anne Main, paid a week-long visit to Bangaldesh to analyse the situation in the Bangladesh garment sector after the Rana Plaza collapse incidence which claimed lives of over 1,100 garment workers in April this year.
The incident tarnished the image of the Bangladesh garment industry as well as several global brands in international market, while international buyers started raising concerns over working conditions in garment factories in Bangladesh.
In the wake of the incident, the US Government suspended the GSP benefit, which allowed Bangladeshi RMG exporters to ship their products duty-free or at preferential rates to the US.
However, adopting a different approach, the EU laid a roadmap to improve working conditions in the Bangladeshi apparel industry, which accounts for around 80 percent of Bangladesh’s exports.
The UK delegation stressed on the need for joint efforts to bring the Bangladesh clothing industry out of the crisis.
Nick de Bois, a ruling conservative MP and also the vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh said it is time that all leading buyers of Bangladeshi readymade garment products should extend support and not impose sanctions.
He stressed that the Government of Bangladesh should work out a sustainable solution in consultation with the local industry leaders and leading retailers to put the industry back on track.
Opposition Labour MP Simon Danzcuk said international buyers should think little less about protecting their brands, and think little more about protecting Bangladeshi garment workers.