GSP risks in Europe: Need to walk on the solution

:: Dr. Kazi Ertaza Hassan :: 

After the Rana Plaza accident in Bangladesh, the crisis in the garment sector started. But it’s been a little bit ahead of its prediction. It had sterted by Tazreen Fashion Fireworks on 24th November 2012. And after the Rana Plaza accidents, the issue drove the whole world. In the context of this, the United States suspends preferential market facilities or GSP in Bangladesh’s readymade garments export. There are allegations that a person’s hand existed among Grameen Bank founder Dr. Muhammad Yunus or BNP leader Khaleda Zia behind this.

In other words, the fact that Bangladesh’s garment sector has been facing the situation from both sides of the house and outside. Now the alliance of 28 countries, the European Union (EU) wants to get back from the facility. That is, the EU has brought the issue of shutting down the GSP facility. According to the publication, they are sending messages of the GSP withdrawal of Bangladesh to increase the expiration of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) program of Europe’s buyer co-operation in the garment sector.  As a result, Bangladesh seems to be at a risk on this major export sector. Whereas, under the scheme ‘Everything But Arms’ (all without arms), Bangladesh was getting duty-free and quota-free access or GSP facilities in all markets except the arms in the European market. The fact is, when any country in the world starts moving towards economic growth, then the country faces a hostile situation. After the Rana Plaza Accident in 2013, the North American purchaser alliance and Europe’s Alliance Accord began to inspect the quality of factories in Bangladesh.

Many factories were closed due to non-standard quality. In the meantime, the expiration of the activities of both organizations is extended. According to the latest extension, their expiration will end in December. The matter has been discussed in the European Parliament recently. Some members also raised the issue of investigating and canceling the GSP facilities given to Bangladesh. The representatives of Bangladesh told them, it is not possible to extend the expiration of the Accord’s program by ignoring the court order. As a matter of view now, the European Parliament will turn to any decision. Now if the GSP facility is closed in Europe, then for Bangladesh it will be a big threat to the country’s progress. Of course, Bangladesh will have to face the new challenges. It is important to remember that there are many countries which have not been able to see much improvement after developing in developing countries. Rather it is more backward. One of them is Indonesia.

Now we think Bangladesh will have to continue diplomatic efforts. We will have to do the negotiations with the situation arising with the EU. At the same time, instead of relying on Europe and America, it will also have to walk towards the diversification and expansion of Bangladesh’s export products.