An effort to withdraw Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) by the European Union (EU) against Bangladesh has failed as a closing note says "no maladministration is found".
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) welcomed the decision.
"It's very good news for us," said BGMEA President Rubana Huq in an immediate reaction.
Bangladesh enjoys duty-free market access to the European market under ‘Everything but Arms (EBA)’ facilities.
Rubana said Bangladesh, through this decision, got rid of labour abuse perception. "We think truth always wins," she told UNB.
The BGMEA chief said Bangladesh has been facing criticisms for long on labour issues and four labour unions informed the European Commission claiming that Bangladesh's RMG sector does not fulfil the obligations on labour fronts.
The relevant case was opened on July 22, 2019 and the decision came on March 24, 2020.
The case concerned the actions taken by the European Commission regarding Bangladesh in the context of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences.
The complainants considered that Bangladesh does not fully respect fundamental labour rights and that, therefore, the Commission should start the procedure allowing it to withdraw Bangladesh’s trade preferences under the scheme.
The Commission informed the Ombudsman of how it has engaged with Bangladesh on the issue so far and the actions it has taken.
It said that it may decide to withdraw Bangladesh’s trade preferences as a measure of last resort.
The decision as to whether or not to launch a withdrawal procedure involves complex policy judgments.
The Commission has a broad margin of discretion in determining when to do so.
The Ombudsman took the view that the explanations the Commission had provided for its chosen course of action were reasonable.
The inquiry was closed with a finding of no maladministration, according to European Ombudsman office.