In a meeting with the European Union (EU) monitoring mission in Bangladesh, Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has urged the global trade body to sustain its backing for the country's ready-made garment industry. Hassan pressed the EU mission to enhance its commitment to sustainability and uplift the well-being of garment workers. He also advocated for extending the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) transitional period from three to six years, aiming for a smoother transition during the Least Developed Country (LDC) graduation.
The EU delegation, led by Paola Pampaloni, Acting Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific Department at the European External Action Service (EEAS), included key representatives from EEAS, the Directorate General for Trade, and the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion. The discussions covered critical issues related to the garment industry, addressing a six-point recommendation encompassing child labor, labor law reform, and other worker rights issues.
Hassan outlined the current situation, placing emphasis on workplace safety, sustainability initiatives, and recent labor reforms. He highlighted a significant increase in the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh.
Additionally, Hassan urged ongoing EU support to maximize the advantages of the GSP Plus arrangement following the country's graduation from the category of Least Developed Countries.