EU-Bangladesh Joint Statement in the Wake of the Garment Factory Collapse in Dhaka

EU-Bangladesh Joint Statement in the Wake of the Garment Factory Collapse in Dhaka

On the 28th of May, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni released a joint statement regarding the collapse of an illegal garment factory in Dhaka one month earlier. 1,127 people died in what was the third such incident to have taken place in just six months.

In the aftermath of the incident, the EU responded by threatening Dhaka with punitive trade measures. Bangladesh, whose economy is heavily dependent on the garment industry, urged the EU to not take any action citing the jobs and economic output that could be lost as a result. Bangladesh’s garment industry is worth $19 billion and employees 4 million people.

The densely-populated South Asian state has been a long-time beneficiary of duty free exports to the EU under the so-called ‘Everything But Arms‘ initiative. As a result, Bangladesh has become a manufacturing hub of low-cost goods for European fashion retailers.

In their joint statement, Commissioner de Gucht and Foreign Minister Moni discussed the responsibility of all “actors involved in the global value chain – namely, global buyers, brands, governments and consumers – to work together in promoting … fair, ethical and responsible supply chain management across the industry.”

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(Wikimedia Commons image courtesy of Fahad Faisal)

About the Author:

Sebastian Andrei is NABATAEANS’ editor for EU - Middle East Trade and Political Relations. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Vienna, where he majored in journalism with minors in political science as well as business and economics. Sebastian is responsible for reporting on the European Union’s external trade relations. He also writes about economic development and investment opportunities in Europe as well as about policy changes which affect the EU common market.

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