BGMEA President Faruque Hassan has emphasized the need for continued cooperation of the European Union to support Bangladesh in securing a smooth and sustainable economic transition.
“European Union is the largest trade partner of Bangladesh. It’s encouraging to note that our trade with the EU is growing. In the last 10 years, the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Europe has been created by 5.87% annually. It is mainly due to the trade preferences Bangladesh get from the EU under the GSP scheme,” he said.
Faruque Hassan made the observations while presenting his keynote speech at Conference on “EU-Bangladesh Cooperation – Opportunities and the Bengal Tiger Economy”.
The conference was hosted by the Study Circle London and the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) in Brussels on July 5 to highlight impressive progress made by Bangladesh in different sectors and prospects of more development.
Lin Goethals, Director, EIAS made the welcome remarks while H.E Ambassador Mahbub Hassan Saleh, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Belgium, delivered the opening speech.
Nahim Razzaq, Member, Bangladesh Parliament; Rensje Teerink, Head of Division for South Asia, European External Action Service; Advocate Tarana Halim Former MP, and State Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Government of Bangladesh; John Cornet d’Elzius, Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Belgium; and Milan Zver, Member of the European Parliament also spoke at the conference which was attended by Miran Ali, Vice President, BGMEA; and Matthijs Crietee, Secretary General of the International Apparel Federation (IAF).
In his keynote speech, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, “The EU has been a consistent partner of our development and has contributed to attaining the status of developing country.”
The EBA scheme has been one of the critical success factors for our textile and garment industry so far, he said.
“We need to focus on how the partnership between Bangladesh and the EU could be further deepened, and how we can retain our market access and share in the EU. It is important that we receive more 3 years extension on top of 3 years transition time considering the fact that how this sector has contributed to women empowerment, employment generation and Bangladesh’s position in global humanitarian response with regard to Rohingya crisis,” Faruque Hassan said.
At the same time, we believe the automatic textile safeguard clause issue in the EU GSP scheme will be addressed so that Bangladesh can continue its share of EU market.
He also said Bangladesh has immense opportunities to enhance its exports, and EU can play a key role in enabling Bangladesh to tap the potentials.
“Time is ripe for shaping the Bangladesh‐EU relationship in line with the demands of the changing times,” he added.