GSP Action Plan

BD to send progress report for US review

10 April 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

The government will finalise the draft progress report on GSP Action Plan at a multi-stakeholders' meeting to be held on April 13, official sources said on Wednesday.
The report due to be submitted to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 15.
Officials said, the report is vital to reinstate the country's GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) facility in the US market. On receipt of the progress report, the US government will conduct its next review of the Action Plan in May.
 "The draft report, detailing implementation status of the conditions required to regain Bangladesh's GSP facility to the US market, will be finalised at the meeting of the GSP coordination committee to be held on Sunday next," a commerce ministry official told The New Nation yesterday on condition of anonymity.
High officials of the concerned ministries, departments and leaders of the related trade bodies will attend the meeting convened by the ministry of commerce.  
"All the government and other stakeholders will sit  for the meeting to finalize the draft and hopefully, it will be sent to the US government on 14, a day ahead of the deadline given by the US Senate Committee on Firegn Affairs," he added.
According to him, the ministry of commerce is coordinating the matter and will send the report through the ministry of foreign affairs on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.            
"We did a lot of progress in implementation of all the conditions set by the US Government to reinstate Bangladesh's GSP facility in the US market," said the official, adding, most of the conditions have already been fulfilled and few of them are yet to be implemented."  
He further said, the government is working sincerely to fulfill all the conditions. It enacts new law and brings necessary changes in the existing laws as part of its efforts to restore the GSP facility for the country.   
Mikail Shipar, Secretary, labour and employment ministry, said, "We have so far appointed 25 inspectors out of 200 and we hope rest of the inspectors would be recruited by this month."
Labour and employment ministry is one of the Government's key stakeholders that implementing major issues of the GSP Action Plan.    "Some legal complexities have arisen to complete the recruitment process. Despite the fact, the work is going on to recruit more inspectors as agreed," he added.
Appointment of 200 additional factory inspectors was a key condition to get back the GSP facility.  
He said, implementation of the action plan taken for retaining GSP status in the US market has made satisfactory progress with complying with most of the conditions. "It is vital that everything possible be done to move these forward ahead of the review of the GSP by the US Government," he noted.
When asked, he said, the government has been working to implement the plan as whole and the implementation status will be submit before the US administration by April 15 after holding the meeting of the GSP coordination committee.
"We are hopeful of regaining GSP facility in the US market as the government of Bangladesh already addressed most of the issues of the Plan," he said. Earlier, the government said that 13 out of the 16 conditions set had already been met, and that it expected to be able to move ahead with implementing the remaining items.  The US government through the GSP Sub-committee of the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee in December last has completed the first review of the Bangladesh government's progress in addressing elements of the GSP Action Plan, officials said.    

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