The European Union is one of major markets for apparel exports from Bangladesh where it enjoys trade benefit under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) under the Everything but Arms regime.
However, the country is now planning to seek the GSP-plus facility from the EU as it is set to graduate into a developing nation that would shore the country of its existing GSP facility.
As per media reports, Bangladesh is planning to take up the matter with the EU in the upcoming joint commission meeting (JCM), to be held in Dhaka on 21 October.
“Besides, we will also seek higher prices for local ready-made garment (RMG) products in the EU markets, as Bangladesh has made its factories labour-compliant as per the EU guideline,” underlined Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) Md. Shafiqul Islam speaking to the media.
It may be mentioned here that in the upcoming JCM, the EU will emphasise on issues like human rights, democracy, good governance, freedom of expression, freedom of press, role of civil society, etc.
In an effort to know about the latest reforms Bangladesh has brought into the labour laws and oversee the progress of labour rights scenario in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, a European Commission delegation led by its Trade Director Ewa Synowiec is also expected to meet senior Government officials on 16 October to assess the existing labour rights scenario in the country.
A co-chair of the sub-groups of the EU-Bangladesh JCM will reportedly try to formulise next course of actions, and clear up the barriers on the way to augmenting bilateral trade, economic cooperation and development.
In the JCM, Bangladesh would reportedly seek continuation of some existing benefits along with some fresh facilities for exporting its goods to the European market, after Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC status.