The government has made a renewed commitment to the European Union (EU) on finalisation of labour rules under the amended Labour Act.
It will, as per the commitment, finalise the draft rules soon and publish the gazette in this connection by April this year.
The government made the commitment at the sixth meeting of the Sub-group of Bangladesh-EU Joint commission on trade and economic assistance issues held at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka on Friday.
Manoj Kumar Roy, Additional Secretary of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Wing under the Ministry of Commerce, and Diana Acconcia, deputy chief of the EU South and South East Asia unit led the team of behalf of Bangladesh and EU respectively.
European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon also attended the meeting with the EU team comprising 14 other members.
After the meeting, a deal on flight operation titled 'Bangladesh-EU Horizontal Aviation' was signed.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem and European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon signed the agreement on behalf of the respective authorities.
Briefing media after the meeting Pierre Mayaudon said that the EU had received the renewed commitment from Bangladesh to solve the labour issues such as ensuring right to union in the industries in the country including export processing zones (EPZs).
"We have also received some positive indications such as amending the EPZ rules. This is good news for us. The true progress would be made soon," he said.
The diplomat also said that they discussed current progress on sustainability compact that was jointly signed by Bangladesh Government, International Labour Organisation (ILO), EU and USA after the Rana Plaza tragedy.
"Regarding the way-forward, we reflect some initiatives that are quite promising in terms of expanding EU and Bangladesh economic relations and one of them was signing of the Aviation agreement. This is a technical agreement but aimed at enhancing connectivity between EU and Bangladesh," Pierre added.
He said that they also discussed EU research and innovation programme by the name of Horizon 2020 that could assist and accompany Bangladesh acquiring a knowledge-based economy. The issue of economic activity, investment and environment of Bangladesh were also discussed.
"We have also discussed the recent creation of an EU Business Council of Bangladesh that aims at identifying major obstacle to stronger and sustainable economic relation in terms of exports and EU investment in Bangladesh. There are some difficulties in doing business, exports, imports and investment in Bangladesh related of tariff," he said.