The United States, Bangladesh’s biggest buyer of readymade garments, has hinted of expanding trade in the upcoming fourth round of meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) that will be held in Washington on September 13.
James Golsen, executive director of the Office of Asia at the US Department of Commerce, said that the US will take necessary steps towards the expansion while meeting Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed at the latter’s Secretariat office on August 30, 2018.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Golsen said: “Bangladesh has developed a lot. The US is satisfied with the progress Bangladesh has made. Many US companies are working in Bangladesh. Bilateral ties between the two countries go a long way. Bangladesh’s products are renowned in the market of the US.”
Minister Tofail told journalists that Bangladesh and US have jointly agreed to expand trade between the two countries with Ticfa. “Currently, the US is the biggest export destination of Bangladesh’s apparel items. Though US has not provided Bangladesh with the GSP, export to the country is increasing every day.”
Upholding statistics that Bangladesh exported over US $5.9 billion worth of products to the US during 2017-18 and imported goods worth US $1.7 billion, Minister Tofail highlighted that Bangladesh will not seek GSP from the US any more. “It is now a matter of the US.”
During this fiscal, the main export item to the US was woven garments at US $3.97 billion, followed by knitwear products at US $1.37 billion, home textiles at US $180 million and caps at US $126 million. US procured over 25 per cent of Bangladesh’s woven products and 9 per cent of knitwear.