More waiting time for GSP

Bangladesh will have to pass a series of reviews to win back its trade privileges to the American market, said a senior official of the US Embassy in Dhaka yesterday.

The disclosure puts a damper on the hopes of the country, which has been expecting restoration of the generalised system of preferences (GSP) right after the second meeting of the Ticfa, due to be held in the US capital on November 23.

“We have fulfilled all of the conditions given by the US. I am hopeful that we will get back the trade benefits soon after the meeting in Washington,” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed had told a media briefing last week.

Restoring the GSP is a process and the process has only started with the visit of a team from the Untied States Trade Representative, the Obama administration's foreign trade negotiator, in September, said David Meale, deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Dhaka.

“We need to complete this process as we work together to restore the GSP.”

The USTR team's visit was a step towards the review of the Sustainability Compact, which is slated for early next year, he said.

The Sustainability Compact is an agreement signed between the European Union and the Bangladesh government in July 2013 with the support of the International Labour Organisation to promote continuous improvements in labour rights and factory safety in the country's garment and knitwear industries.

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