The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Monday requested the European Union to extend generalised system of preferences for Bangladeshi readymade garments for the next 12 years even after the graduation of the country from least developed to middle income.
The BKMEA made the request at a meeting with EU ambassador Rensje Teerink at the office of the trade body in Dhaka.
BKMEA first vice-president Mansoor Ahmed handed over a letter to the EU ambassador requesting the extension of the existing GSP facilities for at least 12 more years aligning with the Sustainable Development Goal implementation timeframe of 2030.
‘Even in a changed dynamics if Bangladesh is graduated into middle-income country by 2024, we still request you to continue this facility in deferent structure and fashion,’ the letter read.
The BKMEA leaders also requested the envoy to provide visa to the Bangladeshi knitwear exporters within the shortest possible time acknowledging the recommendations from the trade body as the exporters need to visit EU countries regularly for organising single country trade fair.
The trade body also urged the ambassador to open a special counter at the EU embassy to expedite the visa processing system for the knitwear exporters.
Teerink, however, said after the graduation of Bangladesh to a middle-income country, the country would have to make preparations to be eligible for GSP Plus facilities in the EU.
She said under the initiatives of Accord and Alliance, Bangladesh made significant progress regarding workplace safety and workers’ rights but many more were still to be done.
Teerink said that following the graduation to a middle-income country Bangladesh would have to comply with 27 international standards and covenants on labour, human and woman rights for the GSP Plus entitlement.
According to the Export promotion Bureau data, Bangladesh’s earnings from the RMG exports in the financial year 2016-17 stood at $28.14 billion.
Of the earnings, $17.75 billion came from the EU.
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