DHAKA – The European Union (EU) has reiterated its commitment to support Bangladesh for a sustainable and smooth transition in its graduation out of least developed country (LDC) status.
Expressing the views during meetings held in Brussels on March 29, the members of the European Parliament and senior officials of the European Commission commended Bangladesh on its development trajectory and reiterated the EU’s commitment to support Bangladesh for a sustainable and smooth transition in its graduation out of LDC status, according to a press release received here today.
The meetings were held marking Bangladesh and EU’s 50 years of partnership where the five-member delegation from Bangladesh led by M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, took part, among others, the release added.
The Bangladesh delegation held meetings with Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for the propose GSP regulation, Bernd Lange, Chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) and Maximilian Krah, Rapporteur for South Asia on INTA Monitoring Group.
Meetings were also arranged with Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues, Helena Konig, and Acting Managing Director for Asia-Pacific, Paula Pampaloni, both from the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Bangladesh delegation highlighted how the country has rightly utilized EU’s EBA (Everything but Arms) trade facility which has directly contributed to the impressive socio-economic development and transformed the lives of millions.
Apart from diversification of trade, the country is now focusing on achieving greater sustainability through a circular economy, protecting the environment, biodiversity and enhanced use of renewable energy and green technology, said the release.
With the ongoing external shocks on the global economy, food and energy crisis and volatility in international financial markets, the Bangladesh side requested for EU’s strong support in the WTO negotiations for the submission by the LDC Group for an extension of International Support Measures (ISM) for another six years after graduation.
Bangladesh also requested that the country’s trade interests, particularly in the RMG sector be protected in the new GSP under consideration of the EU.
The need for fair pricing and responsible business conduct by the companies and brands was stressed upon in addition to requesting consideration of a mechanism under Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence to make relevant companies accountable in these areas.
The EU interlocutors applauded Bangladesh on the exemplary humanitarian role being played by the country in sheltering more than a million Rohingyas forcibly displaced from Myanmar for more than five years.
They also lauded the phenomenal role of the government in empowering women.
The Principal Secretary is on a 3-day visit to Brussels with members from the government and private sector.
His delegation includes Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Faruque Hassan, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Nihad Kabir, President of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and Farooq Ahmed, Secretary General and CEO of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the EU, Mahbub Hassan Saleh, participated in the meetings along with concerned officials from the embassy.