Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday urged the European Union (EU) to continue trade facilities for Bangladesh in the form of GSP Plus after its graduation from the group of least developed countries (LDCs) to a developing one.
He made the call at the 4th European Union-Bangladesh Business Climate Dialogue held at the conference room of the Commerce Ministry.
The Commerce Minister led the Bangladesh delegation to the dialogue where the ambassadors of the EU countries took part, led by European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh RensjeTeerink.
At a press briefing after the dialogue, the Commerce Minister said Bangladesh will graduate to a developing country in 2024. “However, the country will enjoy the benefits of the LDCs until 2027. We’ve urged the EU to provide Bangladesh trade facilities in the form of GSP Plus after 2027,” he said.
Describing the EU as Bangladesh’s largest export destination, he said, “Our export volume to the EU countries is US$ 21.33 billion against the total import of US$ 3.5 billion.”
The European Union is now providing Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) facilities for Bangladesh under ‘Everything but Arms (EBA)’ scheme.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is a perfect place for investment, Tofail said he urged the EU countries to invest in 100 special economic zones which are being established in the country.
About the next general election, he told the EU envoys citing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that they want a participatory election. “The election will be held with the participation of all parties as per the Constitution. The ruling party will run the country and the size of the polls-time government will be small. The Election Commission will conduct the election.”
The EU-Bangladesh Business Climate Dialogue was first held in 2016 to overcome challenges in and boost Bangladesh’s trade with the EU countries.