Bangladesh missions in foreign countries across the world have expressed deep concern over the deadly building collapse at Savar, and asked for details of the rescue work and the government’s steps in this regard, official sources said yesterday.
Commercial councillors at the European Union, the USA and the African countries already sent e-mails to the commerce ministry and wanted to know how the government was handling the matter, said a senior official of the commerce ministry.
He said they recommended the creation of a separate cell under the prime minister’s office to manage the situation.
Sources at the commerce ministry said, apart from the garment factory owners, the higher-ups of the government, ministries and divisions were deeply worried over the matter.
Due to the incident, retention of the US General System of Preference (GSP) for Bangladesh has become complicated now, they said.
The commerce ministry sources further said the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisation (AFL-CIO), a US-based labour rights body, was disturbed by the photographs and documents of the Savar tragedy. As a result, the authorities concerned have been asking the Bangladesh missions about the actual situation.
The commercial councillors of the US, the UK and Canada sent several queries to the commerce and labour ministries regarding the Savar tragedy so that they could respond accordingly.
The EU buyers have already moved to find new markets in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia, sources said.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed yesterday told reporters: “We are deeply concerned about the matter and forming strategies to [prevent] the fall in garment exports.”
The president of the Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh Abdul Salam Murshedy told the Dhaka Tribune that following the Rana Plaza tragedy, efforts should be made to find a way forward.