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Commerce minister seeks more investments from US

  • Published at 10:49 pm February 5th, 2019
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi
File photo of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

As of now, Bangladesh has US investments worth approximately $2 billion in power and energy, shipping, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and airlines sector

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday emphasized increasing US investments in Bangladesh to fully utilize the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement.

The minister made the call while meeting the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller at his secretariat in Dhaka.  

“Bangladesh has a favorable investment atmosphere. The government is also establishing 100 special economic zones [SEZs], which are making rapid progress,” said Tipu, adding that the country is committed to ensure all-out cooperation for investors. 

As of now, Bangladesh has US investments worth approximately $2 billion in power and energy, shipping, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and airlines sector. 

Furthermore, the commerce minister also urged US buyers to import more apparel goods from Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh has improved the capacity of factories, and made the [RMG] them safer," said Tipu.   

Terming the Bangladesh's RMG factories "safe" for the workers, Ambassador Earl R Miller said that Bangladesh is working to ensure labour rights.

The US  is the single largest destination for Bangladeshi apparel goods. But there is a huge trade gap between Bangladesh and US, said the envoy.

According to data by Otexa, in the first 10 months of 2018, Bangladeshi apparel exports to the US rose by 6.70% to $4.64 billion, from $4.35 billion in the same period of 2017. 

"In order to increase US investments here, we are considering to appoint a commercial counsellor as the rising trade between two countries will benefit both parties," Miller added.   

Responding to the issue of the trade gap, Tipu said if US investments increase in Bangladesh, it will reduce the trade gap.   

During the January-October period of 2018, Bangladesh’s trade with the US rose to $6.84 billion, while exports to the country increased by 22.53% to 5.23 billion. However, imports from the US to Bangladesh rose by 7.22% to $1.61 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $3.62 billion.