US-Bangladesh relations: Some observations

The United States of America is the only superpower in the world today. Various international organisations like the UN, World Bank, IMF are directly influenced by US policies. The affairs of most countries in the world are also more or less influenced by Washington. The influence of the US is all pervasiveencompassing the economic, political and security related issues that concern most countries of the world.

For a country like Bangladesh the cooperation of the US is desirable for economic betterment and consolidation of democracy.

Bangladesh's economic development programmes are dependent on cooperation with international lending agencies like World Bank, ADB, etc. This dependence will remain in the future as wellat least for the foreseeable future. All these lending institutions are controlled by the US. In the interest of expediting its development activities Bangladesh has to seek the cooperation of the US.

Trade between the US and Bangladesh is very important for the latter. The US is a very important destination for goods produced in Bangladesh (especially RMG), International trade bodies like WTO are dominated by US. To secure its interest at the WTO and other such bodies Bangladesh has to obtain the support from the US. It is, therefore, extremely important for Bangladesh to maintain good relation with the US in order to achieve its development objectives and to improve its international trade prospects.

In the international arena Bangladesh has achieved a reputation by providing troops for UN peace keeping missions. In this regard, it is also important that US-Bangla relations remain friendly. US opposition to the participation of troops from Bangladesh in UN missions can lead to the suspension of international peace keeping activities for Bangladesh, resulting in significant economic loss.

American influence has a positive impact on the development of democracy in Bangladesh. The liberal policies that the US advocates can help strengthen democratic institutions in Bangladesh. The US, a global promoter of political pluralism, has exercised beneficial influence on politics in Bangladesh and will continue to do so in the future. Bangladesh can also gain from cooperation from the US in keeping extremism as well as ultra left activities in check.

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In light of the above, we can say that it is imperative for Bangladesh to establish the best relationship possible with the US in its own interest. Petty misunderstanding should not be allowed to stand in the way of the betterment of Bangladesh's friendly ties with the United States of America .We have to work together, irrespective of party affiliation, to secure the goodwill of the economic and political giant, the world's most effective superpowerAmerica.

Those who appreciate the importance of friendly relation of our country with US will be encouraged by the presence of Ambassador Dan W. Mozena in our midst. Having worked in Bangladesh as a political counselor in the US embassy a decade earlier, he is expected to act as a positive catalyst in restoring good relations between the US and Bangladesh, to the level that existed during his previous assignment in our country. In this connection, the two countries agreed to further cooperation in information sharing, training, investigations, research and development and policymaking.

I believe that good relation with the US will help to establish Bangladesh as a regional hub of south-east Asia.

Finally I would like to draw attention to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's proposal to the delegation of the European Union Parliament to make Dr. Muhammed Yunus the President of the World Bank. It has been welcomed, and the EU Parliament leader Jean Lambert said: “We see it as a very positive proposal, and certainly we see it as an expression of confidence about a personality like Prof. Yunus of international repute and merit, and he should be able to stand for the post.”

Source: The Daily Star