US seeks equitable treatment of all businesses in Bangladesh

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Thursday laid emphasis on increased transparency in government tenders, fair and equitable treatment of all businesses.

He also stressed the importance of adherence to laws guiding business activities and protecting against the excesses which undermine the social good.

“AmCham and the (US) Embassy share a goal of an improved business climate to encourage investment and development,” Ambassador Miller said.

The US envoy was addressing a function marking the 25th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham Bangladesh) at a city hotel.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Prime Minister’s Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman and AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed also spoke at the event.

Ambassador Miller said the value of total trade between the United States and Bangladesh was $7.9 billion in 2020 and 25 years ago it was $1.6 billion.

“That’s a 500% increase,” he said, adding that 25 years ago, the trade between the United States and Bangladesh was principally readymade garments going to the US and agricultural products and machinery coming back.

Bangladesh still sends the United States plenty of garments, and the US does robust trade in agricultural goods, Miller said.

The products coming now from the United States also includes locomotives, commercial aircraft, power generation equipment, and river dredges, in addition to start-up investments for dynamic Bangladeshi tech companies, financial services powering online shopping, and social media connecting Bangladesh to the world.

US exports to Bangladesh were worth $2.3 billion in 2019, a value that took a hit in 2020 due to Covid.

“But the two-way trade is again growing, with a total value in the first nine months of this year 33% greater than that same period last year,” said the US envoy.

Miller said holding in person the US Trade Show in March will be another important signal of their return to normality. The Embassy will be a partner with AmCham in this event.

“We believe international trade is not only an economic driver, it also expands cultural understanding and a peaceful, secure coexistence,” said the US envoy.

He said AmCham offers what Bangladesh needs - a clear and impartial voice advocating for an improved business environment, transparent decision making, and a level playing field where success is built on the merit of an idea, not insider connections.

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