GSP facilities in US
Bangladesh to keep enjoying GSP facilities in US
Foreign adviser says
Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Bangladesh would "continue to enjoy the GSP facilities as before” in the United States.
The adviser said the news came to him as the US authorities informed the Bangladesh mission in Washington about the latest decision.
"For now, I can say that the continuation of GSP facilities is a good news for Bangladesh,” the adviser told reporters at the ministry. “We will continue to work diplomatically with our American friends for further extension.”
“In the meantime, we should emphasised workers' overall welfare, which will also improve our market access," the adviser said.
At the same time, he said, a review process initiated by a petition from AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations) in the US would be extended by another year. The federation is responsible to oversee if Bangladesh ensures rights of the labourers, especially who work in the country's specialised export processing zones.
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is designed to promote economic growth in developing nations by giving preferential duty-free entry of their products to the US market.
Bangladesh gets duty-free access to the US market on certain export items, including garment products, under the facilities.
The US had earlier put conditions that Bangladesh would not get GSP facilities anymore if the government does not ensure workers' freedom of association or the right to collective bargaining in its EPZs.
The government has responded positively and initiated welfare associations for the EPZ workers.