EU Team Due in Dhaka Today to Review Progress in Labour Sector

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A delegation of the European Union (EU) is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today (Sunday) to have discussions with relevant stakeholders on the country’s labour sector, reports UNB.

Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Paola Pampaloni will lead the delegation, an official told UNB.

They will have meetings with labour, commerce and foreign secretaries of the government apart from their talks with other relevant stakeholders.

The visit is aimed at taking “stock of progress” in implementing the National Action Plan for the labour sector, EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley told UNB.

Ambassador Whiteley, now in Brussels, will be arriving in Dhaka with some of the delegation members.

Bangladesh adopted a National Action Plan (2021-2026) on the labour sector and the plan is closely linked to the roadmap submitted by the government of Bangladesh to the ILO Governing Body as the result of an Article 26 complaint.

The roadmap aims to improve the country’s observance of labour rights including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

Last month, Ambassador Whiteley said aligning labour law with international standards will be an “essential element” for the European Parliament and the Commission in considering Bangladesh’s application for market access, the GSP+.

“Bangladesh has the option to accede to GSP+ which is the next most generous GSP programme after the Everything but Arms (EBA),” he said while speaking at a seminar in Dhaka.

A delegation led by Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, met with Paola Pampaloni at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels a few months back.

They discussed further deepening of ties between European Union and Bangladesh, Everything But Arms (EBA), labour welfare and rights and other issues of mutual interest.

The delegation apprised Paola Pampaloni of Bangladesh’s impressive achievements in terms of economic performance and huge progress in terms of key socio-economic fronts where industrial sectors, especially the RMG industry, have made significant contributions.

“We are closely following the ongoing amendments of the Bangladesh Labour Act. We hope that the amendments will be effective with full transparency, in consultation with tripartite stakeholders, and with technical assistance from ILO,” EU ambassador Whiteley said.

The envoy said Bangladesh is a rising economy with a great story of economic development and social progress.

The graduation to lower middle-income status and to developing country status are historic milestones that bring new opportunities and call for a reinvigoration of EU-Bangladesh ties, he said.

Source: The Financial Express