US hails Bangladesh on GSP Plan of Action
24 November 2015, Nirapad News: The United States has appreciated the progress so far made by Bangladesh on Sustainability Compact and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plan of Action.
The appreciation came in the second annual council meeting of the Bangladesh-US Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) held in the USTR Office in Washington DC on Monday.
At the meeting, the US side also recognized the huge potential Bangladesh possess, and expressed optimism that US investors will come forward to explore the potential.
The meeting discussed wide range of issues including progress on workers’ rights, Sustainability Compact and GSP Action Plan, investment climate in Bangladesh, transformation of Bangladesh, market access and responsible business conduct, Istanbul Program of Action, Bali package implementation, fair pricing, TPP, Blue Economy, infrastructure, etc .
The Bangladesh side mentioned the progress achieved by Bangladesh in terms of workers’ rights, Sustainability Compact and GSP Action Plan.
They also urged the USA for granting duty free and quota free (DFQF) access to Bangladeshi products as per Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration and Bali package adopted in Bali WTO Ministerial.
In this connection, they noted that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) discriminates between African LDCs and Asian LDCs, including Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh side also voiced its concern regarding TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) that might adversely impact Bangladesh’s export to USA and some other TPP countries.
While making a power-point presentation, the Bangladesh side delineated the huge transformation Bangladesh has undergone over the years making it a coveted destination for foreign investment.
They also highlighted the congenial investment environment in Bangladesh underpinned by macroeconomic stability, increasing purchasing power, burgeoning middle class, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for FDI and establishment of Special Economic Zones .
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Hedayetullah Al Mamoon led the Bangladesh that also included Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque, Labour & Employment Secretary Mikail Shiper and other officials from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bangladesh Embassy, Washington DC, while the US side was headed by Assistant US Trade Representative Michel Delany.
The meeting decided to hold the next meeting of TICFA in Dhaka at a convenient time next year.
On November 25, 2013, Bangladesh and the United States signed the TICFA to establish an annual forum to identify and address obstacles to increasing bilateral trade and investment. The first TICFA meeting was held in Dhaka in 2014.