Commerce minister urges US to restore GSP facility

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Mar 15,2019

 
 

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi receives a bottle of Pepsi from US ambassador Earl R Miller at a stall at the US Trade Show 2019 at the Sonargaon Hotel in capital Dhaka on Thursday. Tipu Munshi inaugurated the three-day fair being organised by American Chamber of Commerce and Industry and US embassy in Dhaka. — New Age photo

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday urged the government of the United States to restore Generalised System of Preferences for Bangladeshi products as the country (Bangladesh) fulfilled all the requirements of GSP action plan provided by the US.
‘Following unprecedented Rana Plaza building collapse Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in securing readymade garment factories in terms of fire and structural safety. Workers’ rights are now protected in the country and there is no reason for US to continue GSP suspension. I think US should restore GSP facility for Bangladesh,’ he said while inaugurating US Trade Show 2019 at Sonargaon Hotel in the city.
American Chamber of Commerce and Industry and US Embassy jointly organised the three-day show.
Commerce minister said that suspension of GSP could not pose any impact on the economy of Bangladesh as the country’s main export product readymade garment was never entitles for the trade privilege in the US market but it cast a negative impact on the image of Bangladesh.
‘Considering the present situation of Bangladesh, the US should withdraw the suspension of GSP and the newly appointed US ambassador to Bangladesh can take initiative in this regard,’ Tipu Munshi said.
US ambassador Earl R Miller was present while AmCham president Nurul Islam presided over the event.
Very few export products of Bangladesh other than RMG were enjoying GSP facility in US but the trade privilege was suspended by the US authority in June 2013 following the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1100 people, mostly garment workers.
With the suspension of trade privilege the US government had provided a 16-point action plan for Bangladesh to regain the facility.
Former commerce minister Tofail Ahmed had repeatedly said that the US suspended GSP for Bangladesh on political reason and the country did not need the facility.
In the event, the minister also urged the US investors to invest in Bangladesh saying that the government offers attractive package for the foreign investors in the prepossessed 100 special economic zones across the country.
Forty-six exhibitors, including consumer goods producers, educational institutions and information technology companies were showcasing their products in 74 stalls in the show.
Organisations like Apple (iphone), APC, Cisco, Coca-Cola, MasterCard International, Visa, IBM, HP, Nior, Havard University, US embassy-Dhaka, Ford Motor Company and Chevron Corporation took part in the trade show.
The fair will remain open from 10:00am to 8:00pm until March 16. The entry fee of the fair has been set at Tk 30 a person, but students in uniform and bearing identity cards will enjoy free access.
There will be attractive prizes for a few lucky winners from visitors based on a raffle draw of entry ticket coupons after the trade show.

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