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USTR Statement on 5th U.S.-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement Council Meeting

March 05, 2020

Washington, DC – The United States-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) Council held its fifth meeting on March 5, 2020 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

During the meeting, the United States and Bangladesh focused on market access for U.S. agricultural products and financial services, as well as the importance of upholding international labor norms. The U.S. noted its concern at the pace of reforms intended to guarantee workers’ rights and safety standards and urged Bangladesh to increase collaboration with private and civil sector stakeholders in its ready-made garment industry.

The U.S. and Bangladesh stated their intent to boost trade and investment opportunities and facilitate the existing flow of goods and services. The participants discussed improvements to the Bangladeshi investment climate needed to achieve this, including effective protection of intellectual property rights; clear regulation and monitoring of the trade in pharmaceuticals and medical devices; commitment to enable the digital economy; support for investors’ right to fair and prompt dispute resolution and arbitration; enforcement of obligations and notifications under WTO agreements; and transparency in government procurement.

The delegations to the TICFA Council meeting were led by Mohammed Jafar Uddin, Secretary, Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce, and Christopher Wilson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs.

Background

The United States – Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement was signed in 2013. The last TICFA meeting was held on September 13, 2018. Two-way trade in goods with Bangladesh totaled $9 billion in 2019.

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