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Improved labour safety will help get GSP-plus in EU: Mujibul

DHAKA, May 16, 2018 (BSS)-State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haq Chunnu said Bangladesh would not face difficulty in obtaining the GSP-plus facilities in the European Union (EU) market as the country has improved labour safety and standard.

"Bangladesh has improved labour safety and standard compared to many other countries. So, it will not be difficult for us to obtain the GSP-plus facilities in the European Union (EU) market," he said while speaking at a dialogue here yesterday.

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) organized the dialogue 'Emerging Labour Standard Demand in the Era of Bangladesh's LDC Graduation and SDG Implementation' with its Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun in the chair. CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem made a presentation over the emerging labour standard.

The state minister for labour said the labour law of Bangladesh is better than many other countries and if some minor changes are brought to the law, it will be more worker-friendly.

Mujibul said the labour ministry has already indentified 38 hazardous jobs to remove child labour.

CPD distinguished fellow Prof Dr Mustafizur Rahman said Bangladesh should improve its labour standard in line with ILO conventions to avail itself of GSP-plus facilities in the European Union (EU) market to face the post-LDC graduation challenges.

He said Bangladesh will lose duty-free and quota-free access to the world market when it will graduate from the LDC group by 2024. But, Bangladesh will have duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market till 2027, he added.

"We will have to ensure good labour standard in line with the requirement of ILO to get the GSP-plus facilities in the EU," he said adding that Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)-plus facilities in the EU market.

Economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said Bangladesh has achieved a major progress on labour issues.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Siddiqur Rahman said the garment sector improved labour safety significantly after the Rana Plaza incident.

Deputy Director of ILO Country Office in Dhaka Gagan Rajbhandari said Bangladesh has already ratified 26 core conventions of ILO. But it is yet to ratify another core convention, which is ILO convention-138.

He said Bangladesh has made good improvement in labour safety, rights and standard.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra Dr Wajedul Islam Khan and Executive Director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed also spoke at the dialogue.