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Changes in GPT won’t affect Bangladesh’s exports

Bangladesh will not be affected by the changes in Canada’s General Preferential Tariff (GPT) as duty-free access facility for the products of least developed countries remains intact, said Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Heather Crudden. “Nothing will change for Bangladesh. Duty-free access for LDCs will remain as it has been,” said Cruden. "The GPT would be modernized by graduating 72 higher-income and trade competitive countries as of January, 1, 2015. As an LDC, Bangladesh is unaffected by these changes since it is eligible for duty-free access under the LDC tariff," she said.

Canada would take steps to ensure that the benefits of the LDCT are not reduced by the changes to the GPT, Cruden said adding this means the LDCT rules of origin requirements will be amended so that apparel producers will continue to benefit from duty-free access to Canada while using textile inputs from current GPT countries like China and India. She said an air agreement has been initiated between Bangladesh and Canada and if it is signed, it will open up more opportunities for both the countries.

On the change in GTP, BGMEA leader said the export of Bangladeshi products including garment to Canada would not face obstacles. The envoy also expressed concern over the working conditions of the country's readymade garment (RMG) industry citing the Savar and Tazreen tragedies as evidence. "Like many other countries, Canada remains concerned about dangerous working conditions in the RMG sector."