Bangladesh will lose the opportunity of trade negotiations with the USA if it does not sign the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA), Commerce Minister GM Quader told Parliament on Saturday.
“Bangladesh’s interests won’t be protected without this agreement (TICFA), and the country will be deprived of economic and commercial privileges”, he said, answering a tabled scripted question of Nurul Islam BSc (Awami League-Chittagong).
GM Quader informed the House that if the TICFA is signed with the USA, Bangladesh will get the chance of at least one discussion on trade and investment every year.
“This will help remove obstacles for the entry of Bangladesh products into the US market and facilitate attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country,” he said.
The Commerce said the final draft of the TICFA treaty has 16 chapters and seven articles where it is described in different articles to form an official forum for holding regular discussion on trade and investment alongside description of its rules of procedure.
He said the Ministry of Commerce will represent Bangladesh in the forum while the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) will participate on the behalf of the US. “The forum will also allow the government sector and members of the civil society to present their opinions.”
GM Quader also observed that signing of the proposed TICFA agreement will enhance employment opportunities alongside technical knowledge and side by side it will be possible to run business in joint venture with the participation of private investors from both the countries.
Presently, USA is the major export destination for Bangladesh while it imports mostly from China.