Bangladesh would not appeal for restoring generalised system of preferences but discuss on the simplification of market access of Bangladeshi products to the US market in the 3rd meeting of Bangladesh-United States Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement in Dhaka today.
‘We will not appeal to the United States for the restoration of GSP facility as the country never includes Bangladesh’s major export item readymade garment for the facility,’ commerce minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters on Tuesday.
He said that suspension of GSP on the US market was not having any impact on Bangladeshi export as the United States had provided GSP facilities for ceramics, plastic and tobacco products and the export volume under the facility was only $25 million.
‘We are not dependent on
anybody. We will discuss TICFA protecting our dignity,’ Tofail said.
Following the collapse of eight-story Rana Plaza that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly apparel workers, the GSP facility on the US market for Bangladeshi products was suspended in June 2013 based on labour rights concerns and the United States gave a 16-point action plan for restoring the trade facility.
The much-talked-about TICFA was signed between Bangladesh and the United States in November 25, 2013.
Commerce ministry officials said that a 21-member delegation led by commerce secretary Shubhashish Bose and a 15-member US delegation led by the assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs, Mark Linscott, would take part in the 3rd round of TICFA at state guest house Padma.
They said that Bangladesh would press the US administration to simplify market access of Bangladeshi products to the US market and fair prices of the products.
Bangladesh would also discuss issues including, technology transfer, digital economy and increasing US investment in Bangladesh.
The United States would discuss issues regarding labour rights, removal of tariff and nontariff barriers for US products, regional connectivity, intellectual property rights, public procurement system, regional connectivity and investment pact in energy sector.
The United States would also press Bangladesh to clarify medicine import method as the United States wants to export medicine including insulin to Bangladesh, the officials said.
The United States is the single largest export destination for Bangladesh and the export earnings from the country was $5.49 billion in 2016 including $5.30 billion from apparels.
‘We do not want to raise the GSP issue in the meeting. If the United States raises the issue, we will speak what would be needed,’ commerce secretary Shubhashish Bose told New Age on Tuesday.
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