Bangladesh will seek duty and quota-free access for its export goods to the USA in the Ticfa meeting, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said
The USA wants to invest in high-potential sectors such as information and communication technology, health, renewable energy, sustainable forestry and technology-based agriculture in Bangladesh.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told this to reporters after a meeting with a USA delegation, led by Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia Christopher Wilson, at his ministry in Dhaka today.
The meeting was held ahead of the 5th Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) meeting between Bangladesh and the USA scheduled for tomorrow in Dhaka.
The minister said that in the TICFA meeting, Bangladesh will seek duty and quota-free access for its goods exported to the USA.
Tipu Munshi said the USA delegation came to Bangladesh to discuss dissolving all impediments related to business deals.
The minister further said that 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being set up in different parts of Bangladesh through an initiative by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Entrepreneurs from the USA would benefit if they invest in those SEZs.
"The USA wants to improve trade relations with Bangladesh because it has achieved significant economic growth. We have told them that the market is always open for investors from the USA," he said.
Responding to a query, he said, "We will discuss the GSP (generalised system of preferences) issue at the Ticfa meeting."
At the same briefing, Christopher Wilson said, "Actually we are interested in investing in Bangladesh. We have discussed many issues. I think there will be a fruitful outcome to the TICFA meeting."
Responsible business conduct and ethical buying practices will also get special attention in the meeting, commerce ministry officials said.
Bangladesh will also seek implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and will also discuss the non-tariff barriers faced by locally-manufactured pharmaceutical products.
The much-talked-about Ticfa was signed between the two countries in November 2013. Four meetings have been held since then – two in Washington and two in Dhaka.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1100 people, mostly garment workers, the US suspended the GSP facility for Bangladesh citing 'serious shortcomings' in safety and labour standards.