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FTA committed to improving safety in Bangla garment units

April 23, 2014 (Belgium)

On the anniversary of the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka (Bangladesh), the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) highlights the efforts undertaken by European retailers and importers to contribute to the improvement of safety conditions in Bangladesh’s factories. As real and sustainable changes require time, FTA stresses the importance of remaining committed and working in close collaboration with all stakeholders. 
 
The garment sector is a major driver of economic growth in Bangladesh, leading to a decrease in poverty. The EU is Bangladesh's main trading partner and the country has become one of the major suppliers for the European apparel sector. As underlined by Jan Eggert, FTA Director General, the influence of trade and the European garment sector on the reduction of poverty and increase in social development in Bangladesh is unquestionable. 
 
Still, the tragic incident of Rana Plaza has highlighted that building safety and construction integrity are chronic issues within the Bangladesh industry. 
 
FTA strongly encourages all initiatives that aim to support Bangladesh to remain a strategic EU commercial partner by addressing the need for a more transparent and safer garment sector in Bangladesh. 
 
Such initiatives are good for the workers, for the Bangladesh economy as well as for the European consumers. Free trade and sustainable supply chains are two principles that we consider key in creating suitable paths for the development of the country.
 
FTA Companies Strongly Involved in the Efforts of the International Community 
FTA has been encouraged by the quick response of the international community to put in place coordinated efforts to improve factory safety and construction integrity. As one of the major supplying countries for its members, FTA has supported the Bangladesh National Tripartite Action Plan developed under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and welcomed  the Accord on Fire and Building Safety which brings together trade unions and retailers from all over the world to develop efficient infrastructure inspections and remediation measures. 
 
FTA believes those responses can complement the measures taken by the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the initiative of the FTA that supports over 1,200 companies to improve labour conditions in their global supply chains.

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