In light of recent developments surrounding a Letter of Credit (LC) clause in a trade transaction, Faruque Hasan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), issued a statement to address concerns and dispel any misconceptions.
The LC in question, issued by a foreign buyer to a BGMEA member, includes a provision stating, “We will not process transactions involving any country, region, or party sanctioned by the UN, US, EU, UK. We are not liable for any delay, non-performance or/ disclosure of information for Sanctions Reasons.”
President Hasan clarified that this clause does not imply any sanctions against Bangladesh and is specific to the individual buyer’s internal policies. The BGMEA emphasizes that the LC is not an official declaration or a statutory order by any country. No information has been received from diplomatic missions or official sources indicating any sanctions or trade measures against Bangladesh.
President Hasan underscored the BGMEA’s commitment to workers’ rights and well-being, highlighting various initiatives and legal provisions, including amendments to the labor act, reduction of union registration thresholds, and contributions to the Central Fund for workers’ Well-being.
He provided an overview of the significant strides made in safety measures since the 2013 building collapse, with the establishment of the RMG Sustainability Council in 2020 to monitor safety initiatives. President Hasan also highlighted financial benefits for workers, such as increased minimum wages and improved leave provisions.
Addressing environmental concerns, President Hasan showcased Bangladesh’s leadership in green transformation, with over 200 LEED-certified green factories and a prominent position in global rankings.
Regarding the recent U.S. Presidential Memorandum on global labor standards, President Hasan acknowledged its significance but clarified that it does not apply to Bangladesh, emphasizing it as a unilateral stance by the United States.
President Hasan expressed disapproval of the inclusion of the mentioned clause in commercial instruments if specific to trading with Bangladesh. BGMEA urged its members to seek clarification from buyers and consider reviewing or reconsidering business with those including such clauses.
The BGMEA continues to foster transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the manufacturing process, striving to enhance workers’ rights and well-being while maintaining ethical trade practices.