The apex trade body of Bangladesh's apparel industry has said there is no major barrier for the country to get GSP+ benefits in the European market whenever applicable as the country graduates from the club of least developed countries (LDCs), reports UNB.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Faruque Hassan came up with information during a press conference at a city hotel Saturday while noting that the precondition for the GSP+ on import threshold (7.4 per cent) has been removed from the proposed GSP regulations for 2024-2034.
The conference was arranged to share the outcome of his recent visit to the US and Canada.
The BGMEA chief thanked the EU for its favourable initiative to countries like Bangladesh.
Everything but Arms (EBA) is a special arrangement for the LDCs, providing them with duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market for all products except arms and ammunition.
The BGMEA President said the European Union (EU) is Bangladesh's key export market with around 60 per cent of exports.
He said Bangladesh will enjoy the existing duty-free and quota-free market access in the European countries until 2029 following the country's graduation.
"The government and the BGMEA are working together to ensure the continuation of the EBA facilities for 12 years after 2029," he said.
The EU has granted trade preferences to developing countries through the generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) since 1971.
The GSP is one of the key EU trade instruments to assist developing countries to integrate with the world economy, reduce poverty, and support sustainable development through the promotion of core human and labour rights, environmental protection, and good governance.
The BGMEA chief said they had over 30 meetings during the visit and tried to project Bangladesh's achievements and possibilities.
During his visit, Faruque underscored the need for constructive dialogues, research, economic diplomacy and engagement with governments and stakeholders at the international level so that Bangladesh's economic growth momentum continues after LDC graduation.
He highlighted the issues regarding Bangladesh's LDC graduation, possible changes in the tariff regime in export markets and how preferential market access can be continued in the post-LDC time.
Faruque said finding pragmatic ways for retaining the market access facilities is vital to remain competitive in export markets while creating new market opportunities will be equally important.
He emphasized efforts in securing the continuation of trade benefits for Bangladesh for 12 years after graduation from the LDC category in 2026.
The BGMEA chief also highlighted the contribution of Bangladesh's apparel sector in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and underlined the need for projecting the success stories on global platforms, including the UN.
BGMEA first vice-president Syed Nazrul Islam; vice-presidents Md Shahidullah Azim, Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Miran Ali, Rakibul Alam Chowdhury; directors Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee, Asif Ashraf, Md Mohiuddin Rubel, Md Khosru Chowdhury, Faisal Samad, Abdullah Hil Rakib, Rajiv Chowdhury, Vidiya Amrit Khan and M Ahsanul Hoq were also present.