The European Union (EU), a major apparel export destination for Bangladesh garment manufacturers, has reminded the country’s readymade garment industry on coming true to its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) withdrawal option in case the Bangladesh apparel sector fails to come up with adequate results on the labour and human rights front.
The EU’s warning came in its latest report expressing its concerns over labour and human rights situation in Bangladesh wherein it has reportedly suggested the improvement areas to avert any untoward situation such as withdrawal of trade preferences, as per media reports.
“This is not an expression of disappointment but to keep the issues relevant and alive so that the principles don’t get lost,” reportedly maintained Dr. Rubana Huq, the President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) when quizzed by the media on this issue.
The EU wants to keep the pressure on, she said, adding that recently they had constructive discussions at the EU Parliament and OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and explained the progress.
It may be mentioned here that as per reports, the EU has reportedly decided to consider its next course of action following the publication of the assessment report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by next month on Bangladesh, in line with the ILO’s previous recommendations.
The third biennial report on GSP covering the period 2018-19 was published on 12 February, which also cited the case of Cambodia where the Commission launched the procedure for a temporary withdrawal of the GSP facility in February 2019.