BGMEA President Faruque Hassan has urged the European Union (EU) to continue supporting Bangladesh in consolidating its economic growth momentum in the coming days.
He made the call during a meeting with H.E. Charles Whiteley, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, at BGMEA Complex in Uttara, Dhaka on June 26.
Deputy Head of Mission Dr. Bernd Spanier, BGMEA Senior Vice President SM Mannan (Kochi), Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President Md. Nasir Uddin, Directors Asif Ashraf and Md. Imranur Rahman were also present on the occasion.
The issues of bilateral trade, Bangladesh’s graduation from the LDC category, its possible impacts on the country’s trade and economy and Bangladesh-EU relations in the post-LDC era were highlighted in the meeting.
During the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Bangladesh has attained remarkable socio-economic development over the past decades and is now making efforts to sustain it growth.
As the largest trading and development partner, EU’s support and cooperation is immensely important for Bangladesh for its sustainable development, he said.
The BGMEA President particularly reiterated the call for EU’s continued support to Bangladesh for a sustainable and smooth transition from the LDC status.
He, through the Ambassador, urged the EU to extend the transition period of GSP from the current three years to six years for smooth graduation of Bangladesh.
The extension would help Bangladesh to cope better with the emerging challenges in the post-LDC era and sustain its development strides, he added.
Faruque Hassan also requested the EU to waive the safeguard textile threshold criteria or revising the mechanism for Bangladesh in the proposed GSP scheme for 2024-2034 so that the country could avail the advantages of GSP Plus after its LDC graduation.
In the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan also gave an overview of the RMG industry, its huge impacts on the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh, particularly its role in poverty alleviation and women empowerment.
He expressed thanks to the EU for providing Bangladesh with duty-free access to the European market, saying the apparel industry has been hugely benefitted from the trade preference under the GSP scheme.
The development of the industry has played an important role in transforming the lives of millions of people, mostly women in Bangladesh.
The BGMEA President apprised EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley about the vast progress made by Bangladesh’s apparel industry in the areas of workplace safety, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights and well-being.
The RMG industry of Bangladesh is strongly focusing on the transition towards circular economy while putting efforts to strengthen human rights and environmental due diligence.
BGMEA in collaboration with GIZ has set up a Responsible Business Hub to raise awareness and provide guidance to manufacturers on the standards and requirements of human rights and environmental due diligence, he said.