The 4th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) was held in Washington, D.C. Thursday. A 12-member Bangladesh delegation was led by the Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, Shubhashish Bose.
Secretary to Ministry of Labour& Employment Ms. 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.
The 20-member U.S. delegation was led by the Assistant US Trade Representative for South & Central Asia, Mark Linscott. Deputy Assistant USTR for South & Central Asia ZebaReyazuddin, Political/Economic Counselor at US embassy in Dhaka Bill Moeller and other officials were on the U.S. delegation.
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 4th meeting in Washington, D.C. held in a cordial atmosphere 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 USA while Bangladesh imported goods worth US$ about 1.70 billion.
In the meeting, Bangladesh side sought US cooperation for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Besides, a special request was made for expanding market access for Bangladeshi goods to the American market, and increasing duty-free market facilities in light of WTO’s Bali Ministerial decisions.
Bangladesh also requested the U.S. to facilitate access of Bangladeshi nurses and midwives, and easy access to other service sectors in the USA.
Highlighting various steps creating favorable investment climate, Bangladesh side sought more US investment in Bangladesh.
Furthermore, Bangladesh 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.
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 U.S. side requested the Bangladesh side to notify the WTO Bangladesh’s draft rules of E-Waste.