Considering the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of efforts to recover from the same, the USA and Bangladesh have started deliberations towards exploring possibilities of a Free Trade Agreement, claimed media reports.
According to the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, who reportedly spoke to journalists in this regard after his meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun, the USA is helping some nations in coming out of the coronavirus-induced economic shock through the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development or BUILD Act.
Md. Shahriar Alam, reportedly, sought support from the USA under the Act during his meeting with Stephen E. Biegun, who in turn pointed out that compared to the countries that are getting help from USA under the Act, size of Bangladesh’s trade is bigger.
The US Deputy Secretary of State reportedly also underlined that people’s purchasing capacity as well as size of Bangladesh’s economy have increased significantly.
That is when the issue of FTA came up, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs reportedly maintained.
“He (Stephen E. Biegun) has encouraged us to discuss it… He said we can aim for something bigger. That’s when the free trade issue came,” reportedly maintained Md. Shahriar Alam.
As to the issue of GSP, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs reportedly said that they would discuss the same when the benefits end on 30 December.
Md. Shahriar Alam further added that by then, even a new mechanism could be in place.
It may be mentioned here that after winding up his India tour, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun reached Dhaka on Wednesday on a 3-day trip.