Printed on Mon Jul 04 2022 2:55:08 AM

Bangladesh urges US to invest more

Staff Correspondent
Dhaka has sought enhanced US investment while it urged Washington to restore general system of preference (GSP) for Bangladeshi products and to offer its International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) funding for infrastructural development in Bangladesh.

The urges were made during the 2nd High-Level Economic Consultation (HLEC) between Bangladesh and the United States (US) held on Thursday at the US Department of State in Washington D.C, according to a press release, issued by the Bangladesh mission in Washington, received here today.

Adviser to the Prime Minister’s Private Industry and investment adviser Salman F. Rahman, MP, and US State Department Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez co-chaired the daylong meeting.

The Bangladesh delegation included State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, MP; Begum Shamsun Nahar, MP; M Shahidul Islam, Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States, and other senior officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, Assistant US Trade Representative Christopher Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Labour Thea Lee and other senior officials of the relevant US departments were in the US side.

During the meeting, Adviser Rahman underscored business-to-business and people-to-people contacts as the key elements for enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries.

He reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s earlier offer of dedicated Economic Zone for the US investors.

The adviser also encouraged the US IT companies to invest in the Hi-Tech Parks taking advantage of the large pool of freelancers in Bangladesh.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam stated that continuity of coherent policies under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the key to Bangladesh’s tremendous socioeconomic progress during the past 13 years.

Under Secretary Jose W. Fernandez applauded Bangladesh’s remarkable economic growth and tremendous success in COVID-19 vaccination.

Recognizing the progress made in Bangladesh’s labour sector, Fernandez proposed for a regular consultation mechanism to remain engaged on the labour issues.

In the 2nd session on the Labour issues, ILO Country Director in Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen made an independent presentation on the progress Bangladesh made in the labour sector.

Worker’s rights Coordinator of the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) Laura Gutierrez, Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau and Bangladesh labour representative Kazi Rahima Akter attended this session.

Both sides discussed a range of other issues including cooperation on climate change, renewable energy, maritime and blue economy, COVID-19, tourism and hospitality and civil aviation.

Bangladesh side mentioned that the resumption of Dhaka-New York direct Biman flight is a priority for the government and drew US attention for expeditious action on the matter.

They agreed to work in close cooperation to resume the flight as early as possible.

Bangladesh and the US sides agreed on the importance of enhanced people-to-people contact in strengthening bilateral relations.

In this regard, State Minister Alam drew the attention of the US side to expedite visa processing for the students and the businessmen from Bangladesh.

Both sides agreed to hold the 3rd round of the consultation in 2023 in Dhaka at a mutually convenient time.
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