The EU grants Bangladesh, as well as 47 other Least Developed Countries (LDC), duty-free and quota-free access for all its products to the EU Market. Bangladesh clothing and textile imports are significant (only behind China and Turkey) and are growing at a rate of 29% (from 2011).
In order to retain its duty free status, Bangladesh must meet certain standard, including international labour standards. A joint statement from the EU Parliament and EU Commission states that these bodies are deeply concerned about labour conditions in factories across the country following recent factory fires.
The statement calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to act immediately to comply with international labour standards and asks European companies to do all they can to improve standards. Failure to act could put Bangladesh LDC GSP qualification at risk, resulting in increases in customs duties (in the clothing sector to 9.6%).