BD seeks larger duty-free market access to US
Bangladesh has requested the United States to expand market access for Bangladeshi goods to the American market and increase duty-free market facilities in the light of WTO's Bali Ministerial decisions.
Bangladesh also sought US cooperation for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The issues came up for discussion at the 4th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Bangladesh also sought cooperation from the USA 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.
Bangladesh requested the US to facilitate the access of Bangladeshi nurses and midwives, and easy access to other service sectors in the USA, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington on Friday.
Highlighting various steps creating favourable investment climate, the Bangladesh side sought more US investment in Bangladesh.
On the other hand, the U.S. side discussed expansion of US export to Bangladesh, particularly cotton and medicine, protection of intellectual property, government procurement and labor issue.
Besides, the US side requested the Bangladesh side to notify the WTO Bangladesh's draft rules of E-Waste.
TICFA signed by Bangladesh and the USA in November 2013 provides a mechanism for both governments to discuss trade and investment issues and areas of cooperation.
The United States is the single largest export market of Bangladesh.
In 2017-18 fiscal Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 5.98 billion to the USA while Bangladesh imported goods worth US$ about 1.70 billion.
A 12-member Bangladesh delegation was led by the Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce Shubhashish Bose.
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 in the Bangladesh delegation.
The 20-member US delegation was led by the Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, Mark Linscott. 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. -UNB