Bangladesh has sought duty-free and quota-free access of its readymade garments in the US market, as such a step can further boost the development of the garment industry in the country, reports BSS.
The request to the US was made by Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed during a meeting with officials of the US Government, including the Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman.
During the meeting, Mr. Ahmed briefed the US officials about the tremendous progress made in the last one year and a half in accordance with the ‘Action Plan for Generalized System of Preferences (US GSP).
The Minister also informed the officials about the various steps taken by the Bangladesh Government to improve labour rights and workers safety in the country’s garment industry, which employs more than three million women.
In recent months, the Bangladesh Government has amended the Labour Law, and appointed inspectors to carry out comprehensive assessment of fire and building safety at garment manufacturing units. The industry has also received support and assistance from the private sector, including Accord, Alliance, ILO, BGMEA and BKMEA, the Minister said.
He informed the US officials that the minimum wage in the Bangladeshi clothing industry had risen by 219 percent in the last four years.
Further, to encourage the owners of apparel enterprises to install fire fighting measures cost-effectively, the Bangladesh Government has waived off duties on all fire safety equipment, the Minister said.
In response, Mr. Froman gave assurance that the US would continue to support Bangladesh’s garment industry, as they wanted “Bangladesh to succeed”.