In view of Bangladesh’s graduation from least developed country (LDC) status, Bangladesh and the EU agreed on the importance of establishing a predictable and sustainable business climate that will make it easier for trade and investment, removing market access barriers and promoting a sustainable diversification of its economy.
To this end, the two sides remain committed to pursuing and further strengthening the Business Climate Dialogue.
The EU commended Bangladesh for its continuing success as the largest beneficiary of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) unilateral preferential trade arrangement.
It was recalled that EBA preferences are conditional on the respect of human rights, including labour rights, as reflected in the international conventions listed in the GSP Regulation.
Garment export to the European Union and the UK, Bangladesh's single largest export destination, rose 23.83 per cent year-on-year to $12 billion in the current fiscal year's first half.
Sustained reforms of labour rights standards by the Government of Bangladesh, and their full alignment with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions are crucial in this regard, according to the EU.
The EU welcomed the finalisation and publication of Bangladesh´s National Action Plan on the Labour Sector and stressed the need for its comprehensive implementation as per the stipulated timelines, for regular updates periodically on its implementation and for trying to advance the timelines of revising the labour law applicable in export-processing zones.
The EU and Bangladesh discussed governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights, the Rohingya crisis, economic and trade cooperation, migration, climate change, education, development cooperation and regional cooperation.
The first EU-Bangladesh political dialogue will be held in Dhaka in June this year.