US Ambassador Dan W Mozena on Tuesday said the first Ticfa meeting, to be held in Dhaka on April 27-28, would be a high-level bilateral engagement between Dhaka and Washington which will help find ways for increasing trade and investment between the two countries.
“This is very exciting. This is a high-level bilateral engagement,” he told reporters at the Secretariat after a meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed.
The US diplomat said the actual formal session of Ticfa (Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement) will be held on Aril 28 through which Bangladesh and America will identify the obstacles, each side sees to increasing trade and investment, will discuss how to get over those obstacles.
“Of course, Bangladesh will have many issues they want to raise and America will have issues…we’ll raise them and discuss them and try to find a way forward with the shared objective of increasing trade and investment between our two countries,” Mozena said.
While making his brief statement after the meeting, Mozena said he had an ‘excellent’ meeting with the Commerce Minister and they discussed the transformation of the RMG sector.
“We talked about the progress that Bangladesh is making in terms of the roadmap that is laid out in the GSP Action Plan and also in the Sustainability Compact (EU),” said the diplomat identifying those two documents as roadmap for RMG sector’s transformation.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress, Mozena said there is continuing progress that is being made. “For example, some inspectors were just hired, and more are being hired. This is the very positive step.”
He said the publicly accessible database on RMG factories has now gone online. “It’s beginning. It’s just a listing of factories. Of course, actual database must be much more complicated.”
Mozena said they also discussed the procedures for extending the Bangladesh Labour Act to the EPZs (Export Processing Zones).
He mentioned that his aspiration and Bangladesh’s aspiration are that the RMG sector of Bangladesh transforms itself and comes to international standards in terms of fire safety, in terms of factory structural soundness, and in terms of workers right to freely associate and organise.
“So, we had very fruitful discussions on the different areas. We’re counting progress and also identifying areas for more need to be done,” he added.
Ticfa meet Apr 27-28 to be high-level bilateral engagement