The European Commission (EC) Thursday urged the government and other stakeholders to ensure social compliance issues in export-oriented sectors for averting withdrawal of imports by buyers in future.
The EC made the call at a seminar organised to unveil a joint study report on social compliance across the export-oriented sectors including readymade garments, leather and shrimp.
The EC and Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), NGO, jointly organised the seminar in the city Thursday which was addressed by Charge d'affaires of the EC delegation Anthony Goodwin, NUK Executive Director Masuda Khatun Shefali and Third Secretary of the EC to Bangladesh Jenni Christensen.
"The government, private sector, civil society and the international community must work together for ensuring compliance issues including respect for core labour standard, better working conditions, safety measures for workers, ensuring timely payment and improvement of productivity," said Anthony Goodwin.
The report, after examining various social compliance issues, found that major problems remain in the RMG, leather and shrimp sectors relating to elimination of gender discrimination in wages, ensuring welfare, safety and health of workers, their living and minimum wages, and environmental protection issues.
The EC is currently funding a range of relevant projects including the fisheries and garment industries through the South Asian Enterprise Development Facility (Sedf) to improve working conditions and productivity, he added.
A failure to advance on the social compliance issues may undermine the sustained growth of the country's export-oriented sectors, Goodwin said, adding that in order to avert the likely dismal scenario in the country's export performance, the government should have a strong role in ensuring compliance.
He said the fire accident in KTS building and incidents of building collapse have brought frequent warnings from the buyers.
Goodwin urged the international community and major western buyers to provide funds and technical support for implementing the compliance-related requirements.
Former President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Sayeeful Islam said threats of cancelling imports from Bangladesh in the wake of any accident will not be proper rather cooperation from buyers will produce the desired results.