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Bangladesh, EU to form joint business council

Bangladesh and the European Union will form a joint business council soon to boost trade between the two partners. As per the plans, representatives from the private sector will be incorporated in the Bangladesh-EU council to take business ties between the two partners to a new height. Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed briefed a visiting EU delegation on the progress made by Bangladesh for safer working environment at the factory level under the Sustainability Compact.

After the collapse of Rana Plaza building, Bangladesh signed the International Labour Organisation-brokered Sustainability Compact with the EU in 2013, committing to responsible business behaviour. Later, the US and Canada joined the deal. Two follow-up meetings of the Sustainability Compact, so far were held to review the progresses of workplace safety and labour rights. According to Ahmed, Bangladesh has fulfilled almost all conditions put in the Compact and the EU delegation is also satisfied with the progresses.

Ahmed said that the three agencies - Accord, Alliance and the National Action Plan - have completed inspections of 3,800 factories for deficiencies in structural, electrical and fire safety.