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Bangladesh to continue getting GSP trade privileges from EU

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said the European Union will continue to provide GSP facilities for Bangladesh even after it graduates to a middle-income country.

Speaking at a press conference at his ministry on Thursday, he said the EU, the largest market for Bangladeshi products, would be extending the preferential facility under its GSP Plus programme.

The minister spoke of the opinions of the European Commission, United States and International Labour Organisation that they expressed on Bangladesh during a meeting at Brussels on Oct 20.

The meeting was convened to evaluate the progress on ‘Sustainability Compact’ project undertaken for improvement in the working condition in Bangladesh’s industrial sector.

A 12-member Bangladeshi delegation, headed by Ahmed, attended the meeting.

He said: “At the end of the Brussels meeting, the European Commission, United States and ILO had accepted the ‘implementation review and stocktaking of progress’ as the outcome documents.

The minister said the documents contained the accounts of progress towards protecting labour rights and building a safe working condition for them.

The United States suspended the GSP facilities for Bangladesh in June last year following several devastating accidents in readymade garment industry, the country’s main foreign exchange-earning sector.

Amid Bangladesh’s persuasion for revival of the facility, the US administration set some pre-conditions for that.

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