Dhaka, Washington hold talks on trade, labour reforms

Both sides pledge deeper trade and economic ties

Published: September 14, 2018 13:43:05 | Updated: September 15, 2018 12:16:40

Bangladesh and the United States have discussed trade, digital economy and labour reforms at a key meeting in Washington.

The United States-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) Council held its fourth meeting in Washington on September 13 to promote expanded bilateral trade and investment in goods and services.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mark Linscott, assistant US trade representative for South and Central Asian affairs, and Shubhashish Bose, secretary of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Commerce.

During the meeting, the United States and Bangladesh exchanged views on issues of mutual interest covered under the TICFA.

The discussions focused on market access for US cotton, enabling a digital economy, transparency in government procurement and labour reforms in Bangladesh, the USTR said in a statement.

“Both governments pledged their commitment to deepen their engagement and grow their trade and economic ties.

The United States particularly noted its concerns on overall labour reform and expressed its hope for ongoing collaboration with the private sector on worker safety, bdnews24 reported.

Bangladesh was suspended from the generalised system of preferences programme in 2013 as a result of concerns on workers’ rights and safety.

Bangladesh and the United States had $7.2 billion in two-way trade during 2017.

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