Mr. Charles Whiteley, Ambassador of the European Union to Bangladesh said that free and fair election would be a positive signal for Bangladesh for its readiness to get Generalized Scheme of Preferences – GSP plus facility for exports of Bangladeshi products to the European Union markets. As he quoted, “if the election goes well in Bangladesh, it is a positive signal for its readiness to get GSP facility” while he was in an interview with a private television channel named ‘Channel 24’. As Bangladesh would not be eligible for the GSP facilities from 2029 in the EU countries where Bangladesh exported around 60% of its total export products.
He also have mentioned that Bangladesh would have to maintain 32 conventions that included political freedom and civil and political rights to get the GSP plus facilities. His statement came just a few days after US secretary of state, Mr. Antony Blinken’s May 24th announcement of new visa policy for Bangladeshi people, implied restriction of visa for any individuals who acts against holding free, fair and peaceful election process.
However, Mr. Whiteley said that the EU, a bloc of 27 countries, underlined the need for political debate ahead of the upcoming elections to resolve the political crisis. He said “We are not focused on the election day only, but also on the surroundings of the elections.” He also informed that EU – pre-election mission was scheduled to come to Bangladesh on July 8 on a 13-day visit when they would talk to political parties, civil society and the media.