Mora said Bangladesh-EU relations are developing and expanding quickly and next year the two sides will mark 50 years of their relations and that is a good moment to inject even more energy into the relationship.

Earlier this year, Mora said, a delegation of European MEPs visited garment factories to see first-hand how the safety standards have been upgraded and the working environment modernised.

“They (MEPs) came to Brussels with satisfaction. They saw a good standard of working conditions and safety for workers,” he said.

The MEPs expressed their satisfaction at much of what they saw and acknowledged that Bangladesh has come a long way – the country has now even become a leader in green factories, including through the highest number of LEED certified operations in the world, he said.

“Improvements in social and environmental compliance are very positive and show that industry in Bangladesh is positioning itself for the future. Obviously, the future of the industry will depend more on quality than quantity,” Mora said while responding to a question.

Such changes are partly driven by consumers in Europe who increasingly pay attention to how their garments are being produced, he said, adding that many leading brands in Europe have come to understand this and market their products accordingly.

Mora said Bangladesh is making great efforts to adapt to climate change and to switch to renewable. “I understand that the government has set the laudable goal of generating 40 per cent of electricity needs from renewables by 2041.

At the global level, the EU has made huge endeavours to recognise the legitimate needs of developing countries, including Bangladesh, he said, adding that, the EU and its member states are the largest provider of climate finance, with over 23 billion euro provided in 2021.

An agreement was reached at COP27 and the EU helped reach that outcome through its proposal on a “loss and damage” fund to help the most vulnerable countries.

In Bangladesh, the EU is assisting Bangladesh’s mitigation and adaptation efforts. “We will be delivering major support to the transition to renewable energy through blended loans and grants,” Mora said.

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