Tofail urges USA to grant DFQF entry of RMG from Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed has urged the U.S. government to waive the current import duty imposed on Bangladesh’s clothing items going to the American market.
He made the demand at an international seminar on ‘Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garment Industry’ held at the Harvard University, USA, on Saturday, the foreign ministry said.
Speaking as keynote speaker at the seminar (Trade and Investment Session), Tofail described the epic struggles of the people of Bangladesh and their indomitable spirit which helped them face numerous challenges in its development journey.
Expressing his dismay over suspension of the U.S. GSP scheme for Bangladesh, the commerce minister maintained that duty-free and quota-free access of the RMG to the U.S. market and reinstatement of the GSP will not only contribute to the buoyancy of the country’s economy, but will also help the country’s on-going efforts to ensure work-place safety.
Tofail highlighted numerous corrective measures in the apparel industry that the Bangladesh government had taken so far since the Rana Plaza tragedy.
While informing that Bangladesh has met almost all the conditions laid down in the U.S. Action Plan for GSP restoration, he expressed his optimism that the firm commitment of the government and concrete progress made in Bangladesh will be returned with a positive gesture soon from the U.S. side.
Meher Afroze Chumki, state minister for women and children affairs in her address highlighted the efforts of the government for the empowerment of women and children in general and for the women workers in the RMG sector, in particular.
The junior minister gave a brief resume about the measures taken so far by the government after the Rana Plaza tragedy. While seeking increased support for the country’s apparel industry, Meher Afroze mentioned that any threat to the sector would eventually affect the women of Bangladesh and its social fabrics.
The day-long seminar was organised jointly by Harvard University South Asia Institute, Harvard University Centre for Environment and International Sustainable Development Institute (ISDI) Inc. as a part of the Bangladesh Development Conference series.
U.S. Congressman George Miller (D-Calif), U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W. Mozena, representatives from the UN, Alliance, Accord, Retailers, and Academics were present.
Atiqul Islam, President, BGMEA, and senior leaders of BKMEA also attended the seminar.

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