Bangladesh will not push for GSP fa­cil­ity from US any longer

Apparel Online - - Beyond India -

Frus­trated over the fail­ure to re­tain the Gen­er­alised Sys­tem of Pref­er­ence (GSP) sta­tus from the United States, Bangladesh’s Gov­ern­ment says there is no hope left for it and there will be no more ask­ing for it. “Bangladesh has ful­filled all the cri­te­ria the US has asked for. But even then, they are putting for­ward one con­di­tion af­ter an­other. In this cir­cum­stance, there is no pos­si­bil­ity that Bangladesh will re­tain the GSP fa­cil­ity. We will ask for it no more,” In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Amir Hos­sain Amu said. Speak­ing to re­porters at his Bangladesh Sec­re­tariat of­fice on Fe­bru­ary 28, 2018, the In­dus­tries Min­is­ter added that Bangladesh will soon grad­u­ate to a de­vel­op­ing coun­try. Then, there would be no more scope to ob­tain GSP fa­cil­ity from the US.

Markedly, the US is Bangladesh’s sin­gle-big­gest ap­parel ex­port des­ti­na­tion. For five years now, the coun­try is try­ing to re­tain the GSP fa­cil­ity that was sus­pended in June 2013 cit­ing se­ri­ous short­com­ings in safety and labour stan­dards in the wake of some ma­jor in­dus­trial dis­as­ters in Bangladesh. “Cur­rently, the Gov­ern­ment of Bangladesh al­most pays 16.5% duty on ap­parel ex­port to the US, i.e. about US $

900 mil­lion. Even then, it re­mains Bangladesh’s sin­gle big­gest ex­port des­ti­na­tion with 16.78% of the coun­try’s to­tal ex­ports,” Amu said. Claim­ing that the with­drawal of US’ GSP fa­cil­ity will do no harm for Bangladesh, the Min­is­ter said that Bangladesh is now con­cen­trat­ing on ob­tain­ing the GSP Plus fa­cil­ity from the Euro­pean Union when it grad­u­ates into a de­vel­op­ing na­tion in March. Fa­zlee Shamim Eh­san, se­cond Vice Pres­i­dent of Bangladesh Knitwear Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Ex­porters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (BKMEA), told Ap­parel On­line that GSP fa­cil­ity from the US “does not ben­e­fit Bangladesh much”.

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