BANGLADESH: Apparel exporters want exclusions in Pakistan GSP+
Bangladesh will not oppose the European Union's (EU) plans to grant Pakistan GSP+ status, just-style has been told.
However, the country's powerful clothing exporters have called on their government to press for the EU to withhold these privileges for products that are important to Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, including some clothing lines.
The Bangladesh government has been under pressure from the Indian government to weaken its opposition, and New Delhi recently gave Dhaka export rights into the Indian textile and clothing market.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said India was being offered trade privileges itself in Pakistan and therefore supported GSP+ status for Pakistan.
"We suspect that India has changed its position and is thinking of withdrawing its complaint against the EU as it has been promised a Most Favoured Nation status from Pakistan".
These concerns sparked a meeting between Bangladesh clothing industry leaders and ministry of commerce officials yesterday (15 November), where the government was able to provide some (unspecified) assurances.
Mr Islam said today: "We no longer oppose the government's stand". However, he questioned whether Bangladesh's support would deliver Pakistani GSP+ status, given Brazil, Peru and Argentina have also objected to the move.
The EU wants to award Pakistan GSP+ for two years to help it recover from its devastating 2010 floods.
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