In late March, FTA organised a high-level forum in Dhaka, Bangladesh to address the future social and employment challenges for the ready-made garments (RMG) and leather sector. Representatives from the Government, European and local businesses, international organisations and trade unions discussed the various impacts of the Bangladesh Vision 2021. This roadmap sets the goals the country should reach by its 50th independence anniversary in terms of political and economic freedoms, and establishes the objective to become a middle-income nation by this time.
Professor Gowher Rizvi, Advisor to the Prime Minister, highlighted the country’s expected growth in sectors like textiles, leather, IT and pharmaceutical and stressed the current trend of certain Asian countries to also source from Bangladesh. Although the country is on the right track in becoming a middle-income nation, it will remain eligible for the EU GSP preferences scheme ‘Everything But Arms’ for the coming years.
While Bangladesh has been the subject of news concerning labour unrest, Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) country office for Bangladesh, Mr Srinivas Reddy, pointed that Bangladesh has made significant progress in the field of compliance. However, this is a shared investment and responsibility from all stakeholders. Further improvements can be achieved through cooperation, dialogue and trust. Most recently, Bangladesh has improved its ranking as 139th out of 188 countries in the latest global human development ratings of the United Nations Development Programme.
FTA activities in Bangladesh
Bangladesh remains one of the most important sourcing countries for FTA members and BSCI participants. Through FTA Bangladesh Representative, Daniel Seidl, FTA members and their local producers are supported towards improving responsible trading activities in the country.
Bangladesh’s significance for companies operating at the global level is also reflected in our network. FTA has decided to increase its presence in the region by opening an office in the city of Dhaka and expanding its team to support members’ needs.
Contact: Daniel Seidl, FTA Bangladesh Representative