AAPI Convention 2022

 

US-Bangladesh talks trade, climate change in high-level economic consultation; endorse free, open Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) also came up during the discussion, and Bangladesh “welcomed additional information on the supply chain resilience and decarbonization pillars of the IPEF.”

Jun 03, 2022
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US-Bangladesh talks trade (Photo: Twitter)

The United States and Bangladesh held discussions on trade, investment, climate change, and labor reform among others during the US-Bangladesh High-Level Economic Consultation which was held on Thursday in Washington. Significantly, the two sides stated that they shared a common vision of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

The second high-level economic consultation comes as Dhaka has been seeking more US investment in the areas of the energy sector, telecommunication, agriculture, food processing, developing and managing the marine economy, and ecology.

The talks were co-chaired by the US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Jose W. Fernandez, and Salman F. Rahman, senior advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The United States highlighted Bangladesh’s evident potential to be a regional leader in digital trade and noted with appreciation steps taken by Bangladesh to adopt a transparent regulatory environment to secure broad-based foreign investment in its burgeoning digital economy sector,” read the joint statement released by the State Department.

The joint statement further said that both countries shared a “common vision of a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and secure Indo-Pacific region with shared prosperity for all.” This comes days after a senior Chinese official asked Bangladesh and other countries to avoid bloc politics in a reference to the US actions in the region.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) also came up during the discussion, and Bangladesh “welcomed additional information on the supply chain resilience and decarbonization pillars of the IPEF.”

Launched last month, the 13-member grouping of the IPEF, led by the US, seeks to provide an economic alternative to countries in the Indo-Pacific region amid China’s growing economic footprint in the region.

Bangladesh, which tries to balance its ties with the US, India, and China, hasn't yet joined the grouping.

During the talks, the United States also urged Bangladesh to initiate labor reforms to which it expressed its commitment to swiftly pass necessary reforms and fully implement the four priority areas of the ILO road map.

Bangladesh also expressed interest in receiving US development finance from the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for a wide range of infrastructure opportunities.

(SAM)

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