On 17 September, the FTA was invited, among other key stakeholders, to take part in the International Trade (INTA) Committee exchange of views on labour conditions and health and safety standards at work in Bangladesh and its possible impact on EU-Bangladesh trade relations. The well-attended meeting provided a platform for an open dialogue with members of the European Parliament who have kept, since the recent incidents, a close and critical eye on the Bangladesh garment sector and business behaviour.
Representing the FTA, Lorenz Berzau, Managing Director of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) underlined the importance of Bangladesh as a major trading partner of FTA members, especially for those active in the garment sector. He also presented the long-standing activities rolled out by BSCI and its participants in Bangladesh in order to support improvement of working conditions in their supplying factories. Finally, Lorenz Berzau highlighted that the impact of foreign companies is important but is also limited and a true implementation of domestic regulations in Bangladesh is essential.
FTA will continue to raise the importance of labour conditions in Bangladesh and reiterates its dedication to free trade and good labour conditions through international supply chains.