Ticfa meeting: Dhaka to seek easy product access to US | 2017-05-16 | daily-sun.com

Ticfa meeting: Dhaka to seek easy product access to US

UNB     16th May, 2017 08:10:38 printer

Ticfa meeting: Dhaka to seek easy product access to US

Bangladesh will push the United States for ensuring fair prices for Bangladeshi products and easing further access of its products and services to the US market during a bilateral meeting to be held here on Wednesday.


Bangladesh will also focus on technology transfer, digital economy and seek increased investment in various areas, including infrastructure development.


This is going to be the first such bilateral meeting after the Trump Administration assumed office and the third of its kind under the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) signed between the two countries back in November 2013.


Commerce Secretary (in charge) Shubhashish Bose will lead a 21-member Bangladesh side comprising Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar, a senior Commerce Ministry official told UNB on Tuesday.


Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott will lead the 15-member US side at the meeting comprising US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat.


Three secretaries -- commerce, foreign and labour -- will brief the media about the outcome of the meeting at 5:30pm, another official told UNB.


The Ticfa meeting will be held at State guesthouse Padma that will start at 9:30am, said the Commerce Ministry official.


The US side said they will discuss the whole range of issues, especially the ways to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and two-way trade between the two countries, on Wednesday.


"We've a number of issues on the table -- how to increase FDI and two-way trade," US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat told reporters at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.


The US said they are getting ready for the meeting which will discuss the wide range of issues, including labour rights issues.


The third Ticfa meeting was originally scheduled for December 13, 2016 but was apparently delayed for recently held elections in the US.


The first Ticfa meeting was held in Dhaka in April 2014 and the second annual meeting in Washington, DC.


In June 2013, the then Obama Administration suspended the eligibility of Bangladesh for tariff benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme which is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry.


Bangladesh will present the 'enormous' progress made over the past years in line with the US-designed 'Bangladesh Action Plan 2013' during the third Ticfa meeting, Commerce Ministry officials said.


Restoration of GSP benefit for Bangladesh is likely to come up for discussion, they said.