The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sought Switzerland's support for a 10 year extension of the Everything but Arms (EBA) agreement for Bangladesh under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.
Faruque Hassan, the newly elected president of BGMEA, requested this of Nathalie Chuard, Switzerland's ambassador to Bangladesh, who met with BGMEA leaders at their headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Thomas Baumgartner, head of Political, Economic, and Cultural Affairs at the Swiss Embassy in Dhaka, accompanied the ambassador, said a press release.
The apex trade body of Bangladesh's garment manufacturers, also sought the support and collaboration of the Swiss embassy regarding the need for a unified code of conduct for social audits, and to promote the untold stories of the industry's transformation in Bangladesh.
The Swiss Ambassador expressed her satisfaction about the progress of the industry in sustainable manufacturing and assured the support of the Swiss Government.
The Swiss envoy applauded the BGMEA president for the transformation the industry has made over the past several years.
Both the parties discussed various issues pertinent to the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh, and its progress in the area of social and environmental sustainability.
The discussants also highlighted the future potential of the industry and the need for upgrading the industry, particularly in the areas of skills and efficiency enhancement, technological expertise, and the diversification of products (especially non-cotton).
BGMEA leaders encouraged potential foreign investment in non-cotton and technical textiles, the light engineering sector, and high end apparel items.
BGMEA first vice president Syed Nazrul Islam, and vice president Md Shahidullah Azim, also attended the meeting.