The suspension of the generalised system of preferences could be an opportunity for Bangladesh to become the largest apparel exporter in the world, US Ambassador Dan W Mozena said yesterday.
“The world would be sick of Bangladesh if it sees one more accident like Rana Plaza or Tazreen Fashions. So, the GSP suspension will help Bangladesh make sure that this type of an accident never takes place,” Mozena told businessmen on a visit to Meghna Group of Industries at Meghna Ghat in Narayanganj.
Mozena’s comments came three days after the Obama administration suspended the GSP facility for Bangladesh due to insufficient progress in core labour rights and workplace safety standards.
If these issues are addressed, it would be the beginning of Bangladesh’s efforts in becoming the world’s largest exporter of garments, he added.
Presently, Bangladesh is the world’s second largest apparel exporter after China. The US envoy said he has high hopes on Bangladesh that it could become the next Asian tiger.
“Bangladesh has so many elements to become the next Asian tiger,” he said, adding that pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, finished leather and jute and jute goods have the potential to lift the country.
He said Bangladesh’s agriculture sector has already witnessed a revolution.
Mozena also criticised Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, who dubbed Bangladesh an international bottomless basket case. “It was foolish,” he said.
There are challenges; inadequate infrastructure and power, and corruption and political instability are some of those challenges that Bangladesh needs to address to become the next Asian tiger.
Earlier, Mostofa Kamal, chairman and managing director of Meghna Group of Industries, made a presentation on his existing business and future plans.
Kamal said he wants to set up a petrochemical industry that needs US technology.
Aftab ul Islam, president of American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, also spoke.
Source: The Daily Star