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Mozena lauds BD efforts to revive GSP in RMG

223The government has decided in principle to form an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) council to deal with various problems in the RMG sector. The council will be formed by this month, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Tuesday (1 April 2014).

He said this while talking to the media after holding a view-exchange meeting with US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena at the ministry. Mahbub Ahmed, secretary of the ministry of commerce, attended the meeting.

The commerce minister said the US had expressed satisfaction with Bangladesh’s initiatives to get back the GSP facility.

He said: “The US is satisfied with our initiatives to get back GSP. We hope that we will be able to submit the report within April 15 next.”

“We have decided to form the Alternative Dispute Resolution Council to solve the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector’s problems which is now in the preliminary stage. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Council will be formed by the current month,” the minister added.

“The victims of the RMG sector accidents will be able to file their complaints with this council. The council will reach decisions upon hearing from both the sides,” he said.

Mr Tofail said 200 inspectors would be appointed to the apparel sector. “It is a hard job. The government has already appointed 68 inspectors,” the minister added.

Referring to the US concern over the RMG sector’s labour unrest, Tofail Ahmed said his government would look into the content of the US Senator’s letter to the BGMEA president and that he had informed the matter to Ambassador Mozena.

“The situation in the RMG industry and other industrial sectors is totally normal and calm,” he said.

“We are going to sign the preferential trade agreement (PTA), and free trade agreement (FTA) with different countries in the days to come, the commerce minister said.

US ambassador Dan W Mozena has lauded the progress Bangladesh had made in meeting the conditions relating to reviving the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility.

He said this while talking to the media after holding the meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed.

Bangladesh has made progresses in the area of GSP action plan and sustainability compact. The process of progress is going on. For example, some inspectors were hired, and more are being hired. This is a very positive step, the US ambassador said.

Publicly accessible garment workers’ database has now gone online. Earlier, the data of workers were complicated, he added.

“We have talked about the procedure for extending Bangladesh Labour Act to the Export processing Zones (EPZs). So, we have done a very fruitful discussion,” he said.

Dan W Mozena said Bangladesh has made progresses in its efforts to get back the GSP facility.

Mr Mozena said, “We have discussed the upcoming Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) meeting scheduled to be held April 28 in Dhaka. This is the first Ticfa meeting and is also a very exciting one. This is a very higher level and bilateral engagement between Bangladesh and America.”

“Bangladesh has many issues. It wants to raise them at the meeting and the US has also some issues. At the meeting these will be discussed,” Ambassador Mozena said.

The US envoy said they were relentlessly working to increase trade and investment between Bangladesh and the US.

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