Amir Hamza

The 5th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICFA) with the United States will be held in Dhaka on March 5 next. The meeting was canceled ‘Christmas’ in December last year.

According to the agreement, the forum is supposed to meet once a year. Since the fourth meeting was held in the US last year, Bangladesh has finalized the fifth meeting this month.

The US State Department has agreed to hold the meeting in Dhaka on  March 5. The United States said the forum would not be negatively affected if bilateral trade and investment were not held in a timely manner.

In this regard, WTO cell director general of the Ministry of Commerce Md. Kamal Hossain told the Business Mirror that the key issue of Bangladesh was restoration of Generalised System of Preferences or GSP facilities. Bangladesh also insisted on the issue of ensuring a tax-free entry of Bangladeshi products in the American market.

On the other hand, the USA interested issues of the workers’ rights in Bangladesh, economic empowerment of female, formation of four working group regarding investments and market facilities.

The United States did not give a clear pledge for restoring the suspended GSP facility.  Still their main issue of concern remains the condition of labourers in the garment industries.

The United States referred to the World Trade Organisation rules in response to the tax reduction and tax-free entry proposals of Bangladeshi goods into US market.

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