Dhaka not regaining GSP facility anytime soon

Bangladesh has been willing to send skilled health professionals like nurse and midwife to the US

The third council meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) has indicated that Bangladesh will not regain the much-desired GSP facility to the US market anytime soon as the issue has been skipped in the meeting.

The daylong meeting was held in the state guest house Padma in Dhaka on Wednesday, which was focused on boosting trade and commerce between the countries by solving the existing barriers.
Bangladesh’s Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose and Assistant US Trade Representative Mark Linscott led their respective countries’ teams in the meeting.

Dhaka has long been craving the US preferential trade benefits, or GSP status, ever since the Obama administration suspended the facility for Bangladesh, citing dangerous conditions in the country’s apparel industry.
Speaking to reporters, Shubhashish said: “The GSP issue was not discussed in the meeting, because it was not on the agenda.”

Replying to a query, US Ambassador Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat said Bangladesh was improving but was yet to properly ensure labour rights at RMG factories, which was the most important factor to get the GSP facility back.
She added that US had no agreement with Bangladesh on duty-free access to the country’s RMG market.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has been willing to send skilled health professionals like nurse and midwife to the US.
Linscott said the US wanted a more transparent process of public procurement and tendering system in Bangladesh that could help them participate in the country’s development programmes.

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