Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is a trade association dedicated to promote the Bangladeshi apparel industry. Since the inception in 1983, BGMEA is dedicated to promote and facilitate the apparel industry through policy advocacy to the government, services to members, ensuring workers’ rights, and social compliance at factories. BGMEA collaborates with local and international stakeholders, including brands, and development partners to pave the way for development of Bangladesh apparel industry. Currently, BGMEA has around four thousand registered garment factories. Around 40% of BGMEA member factories are knitwear and sweater manufactures, and the rest 60% are woven garment manufactures. More info at: https://www.bgmea.com.bd/
In 2024, Bangladesh will lose its Least Developed Country (LDC) – a categorization made under the United Nations classification system. As a result, Bangladesh will lose preferential market access into the EU under the Everything But Arms (EBA) program, under which Bangladeshi products were imported in duty free. The loss of EBA preferences is predicted to severely affect Bangladesh’s garment exports to the EU, which accounts for 90% of the EU’s imports from Bangladesh. This, in turn, will significantly affect the competitiveness of Bangladesh’s garment exporters, and could have devastating consequences for Bangladesh’s garment industry. All this is happening against the backdrop of GSP reform discussions at the EU level. The current GSP program expires in 2023, and EU legislators are currently in the process of revamping it. In this context, BGMEA has requested Sidley’s pro bono assistance to help strategize on how Bangladesh can continue to obtain maximum benefits from the EU’s GSP program.
Read the announcement of this pro bono engagement published by the Bangladeshi news outlet The Daily Star.