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Dhaka Tribune

GPT change won’t affect Bangladesh’s exports

Update : 31 Aug 2013, 05:53 PM

Bangladesh will not be affected by the changes in General Preferential Tariff (GPT) of Canada as duty-free access facility for the products of least developed countries remains intact, said a top diplomat.

“Nothing will change for Bangladesh. Duty-free access for LDCs will remain as it has been,” said Heather Cruden, Canadian High Commissioner in Bangladesh.

She was speaking at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday on “Bangladesh Canada Trade and Economic Relations.”

The seminar was jointly organised by Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Canadian High Commission in Dhaka.

Commerce Minister GM Quader attended the function as chief guest. BGMEA vice president Atiqul Islam was also present.  

The Canadian High Commissioner said if the air agreement initialled between Bangladesh and Canada is signed, it will open up more opportunities for both the economies.

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs need to develop products and markets, both new and existing, and the government needs to develop policy and institutional environment that can support in this regard, she said.

Cruden, however, expressed concern over the working conditions of Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry.

“Like many other countries, Canada remains concerned about dangerous working conditions in the RMG sector.”

 Commerce Minister said despite all odds, the RMG exports continued to grow.

“The export growth was tremendous in last fiscal while in the first month of current fiscal the growth was 26%.” Atiqul Islam said initiatives have been taken to improve the working condition in the garment sector.

“The government has already amended Labour Law which ensures rights to form trade unions. Trade unionism is a good thing, but we need to clear that what would be the behaviour of trade unions as the RMG workforces are very young,” he said.

On the change in GTP, BGMEA leader said the export of Bangladeshi products including garment to Canada would not face obstacles.

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