Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday requested the United States to sign a free trade agreement with Bangladesh for boosting bilateral trade between the two countries.
The minister made the appeal while inaugurating a three-day US trade fair jointly organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh and the United States embassy in Bangladesh at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.
The 25th US Trade Show 2018 has been arranged to showcase product of American companies in Bangladesh and their contribution to the country’s development.
On the occasion, Tofail urged the USA to sign FTA with Bangladesh as the country has not giving GSP facility to Bangladesh. He expected a rise in trade volume if an FTA with the USA is signed.
He said that Bangladesh was going to upgrade from the least developed country to a developing one that would made Bangladesh ineligible for GSP in the US market.
He also requested the entrepreneurs of the United States to enhance business in Bangladesh as the country’s foreign investment policy was more attractive since the government has withdrawn double taxation on export items.
Although the US is the large business partner of Bangladesh with exports of $7 billion and imports of nearly $1 million annually, the country does not provide duty- and quota-free access to the readymade garment products of Bangladesh as per the WTO decision.
US ambassador to Bangladesh Mercia S Bernicat said that signing FTA was a long process and it required maturing of economies of both countries.
She also said that US business in Bangladesh was increasing day by day that reflects the strong ties between the two countries.
The trade show would highlight US products and also highlight the US contribution to the Bangladesh development, Mercia said.
The show remains open to visitors from 10:00am to 8:00pm with Tk 30 entry fee.
In the show, more than 150 US companies, represented by 43 exhibitors, from home and abroad at 72 booths are participating.
The participating US firms include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ford Motor, Metlife, Chevron, Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, Cisco, FedEx, Citi, Mastercard and Johnson & Johnson.
Advocacy Centre at International Trade Administration Southeast Asia regional manager Malcolm Burke and acting AmCham president Shadab Ahmed Khan were present, among others.
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