Dhaka urges US to expand market access for Bangladeshi goods


DHAKA, Sept 14, 2018 (BSS) – Bangladesh urged the United States (US) to expand market access for Bangladeshi goods to its market and increase duty-free market facilities in light of WTO’s Bali Ministerial decisions.

Bangladesh also requested the US to facilitate access of Bangladeshi nurses and midwives, and easy access to other service sectors in the US.

The requests were made during the 4th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, according to a press release received here today.

A 12-member Bangladesh delegation was led by Shubhashish Bose, Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, while Assistant US Trade Representative for South & Central Asia, Mark Linscott, led the 20-member US delegation during the meeting.

In the meeting, Bangladesh side sought US cooperation for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Highlighting various steps creating favorable investment climate, Bangladesh side sought more US investment in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh also sought cooperation from the US trade preferences for Bangladeshi goods, fixing fair prices of Bangladeshi goods, technology transfer, trade related capacity building, digital economy and sustainable graduation of Bangladesh as a developing country.

On the other hand, the US side discussed expansion of US export to Bangladesh, particularly cotton and medicine, protection of intellectual property, government procurement and labor issue. The US side requested Bangladesh side to notify the WTO Bangladesh’s draft rules of E-Waste.

Secretary to Ministry of Labour and Employment Afroza Khan, Executive Chairman of BEPZA Maj Gen Mohammad Habibur Rahman Khan, Bangladesh Investment Development Secretary Moinul Islam, Director General, WTO Cell Md. Munir Chowdhury, member of National Board of Revenue Prakash Dewan and senior officials of the commerce and the foreign affairs ministries were on the Bangladesh delegation.

Deputy Assistant USTR for South and Central Asia Zeba Reyazuddin, Political/Economic Counselor at US embassy in Dhaka Bill Moeller and other officials were on the US delegation.

TICFA signed by Bangladesh and the US in November 2013 provides a mechanism for both governments to discuss trade and investment issues and areas of cooperation.

The meeting was informed that the United States is single largest export market of Bangladesh. In 2017-18 fiscal Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 5.98 billion to the US while Bangladesh imported goods worth US$ about 1.70 billion.