Bangladeshi apparel exporters are lobbying major trading partners and blocs to support its efforts to extend the duty benefits the country currently enjoys for at least six more years.
The move comes as Bangladesh prepares to graduate from the group of least-developed countries to a developing country in 2026, which will likely result in the loss of its duty-free market access.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has called for a six-year transition period to help apparel exporters remain competitive in global markets. While the EU and the UK have already announced a three-year transition period, the BGMEA believes that a longer period is necessary due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The BGMEA will meet with officials from the EU, Germany and other major trading partners to gain support for the extended transition period. The BGMEA also intends to request duty-free market access for apparel items made with US cotton and shipped to the US markets, as well as to work with the US government to address the shipment of counterfeit products from Bangladesh.