EU to examine Bangladesh's preferential trade access to the EU market

EU considers Bangladesh's preferential trade access

01.05.2013 - 09:15

Europe expressed its concerns over the labour conditions in Bangladesh after the industrial accident that killed hundreds of workers. It was the third industrial accident in the raw. The accident raised questions about the working and safety conditions in Bangladesh. Europe considers trade actions.

About 390 workers in the majority women have been killed. The death toll will increase, while hundreds of dead bodies remain unaccounted. Rescue workers have given up hope of finding any survivors, said the authorities yesterday. Late on Tuesday, the EU issued a statement saying that will probe Bangladesh's preferential trade access to the EU market. EU announced that will push for better safety standards and labour conditions.

“The EU is presently considering appropriate action, including through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) - through which Bangladesh currently receives duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the 'Everything But Arms' scheme - in order to incentivise responsible management of supply chains involving developing countries," said the statement, issued by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht.

About 3.6 million people work in Bangladesh's garment industry. Bangladesh is the second-largest apparel exporter in the world. Bangladesh has about 4,500 garment factories that make clothes for global retailers, including Gap (GPS, Fortune, 500), H&M, Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500), (SHLD, Fortune 500), as well as smaller retailers like Benetton, The Children’s Place (PLCE) and Joe Fresh. 60 percent of Bangladesh’s exports go to Europe. The majority of the workers in Bangladesh’s garment industry are women. Their monthly salary reaches $38