Ticfa meeting underway between Bangladesh, US | 2017-05-17 | daily-sun.com

Ticfa meeting underway between Bangladesh, US

Sun Online Desk     17th May, 2017 11:51:40 printer

Ticfa meeting underway between Bangladesh, US

A bilateral meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) between Bangladesh and the United States started on Wednesday morning at State guesthouse Padma in the city, reports UNB.

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

The 15-member US side is being led by Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott comprising US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat.

In the third Ticfa meeting, Bangladesh is pushing the US for ensuring fair prices for Bangladeshi products and easing further access of its products and services to the US market.

Bangladesh is also focusing on technology transfer, digital economy and seeking increased investment in various areas, including infrastructure development.

This is going to be the first such bilateral meeting after the Trump Administration assumed office.

The meeting outcome will be briefed at 5:30pm. Three secretaries -- commerce, foreign and labour - will talk to media, another official told UNB.

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