‘US expects fast growth of trade and investments in Bangladesh’ | The Daily Star
09:57 PM, May 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:04 PM, May 14, 2019

‘US expects fast growth of trade and investments in Bangladesh’

US Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Ian Steff says

US expects fast growth of trade and investments in Bangladesh as business leaders are increasingly expanding their commercial ties and partnerships with the country.

“U.S. and Bangladeshi business leaders are increasingly expanding their commercial ties and partnerships, as evidenced by growing trade between our two nations and the strong participation of companies in our trade mission,” said US Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Ian Steff.

“I am confident that economic and commercial ties will continue to grow rapidly as issues related to the investment climate, intellectual property, and workforce are addressed,” he said in a statement after a meeting in Dhaka on May 11-13.

Steff visited Dhaka participate in a 2019 Trade Winds Indo-Pacific Forum and Mission and to promote U.S.-Bangladesh trade and investment. 

Trade Winds Indo-Pacific is the US Department of Commerce’s first major trade mission to Bangladesh in recent history.  It facilitated meetings between 12 representatives of US companies and more than 40 business-to-business meetings with Bangladeshi companies.

On Monday, he met with key advisors of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – including Private Industry and Investment Advisor Salman Rahman and Energy Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury – as well as Secretary of Commerce Mofizul Islam to discuss how to expand economic ties.

Noting that two-way trade between the US and Bangladesh has doubled to more than $8 billion over the past decade, Steff encouraged the Bangladesh government to realise the full potential of the bilateral commercial relationship by removing remaining trade barriers and improving the ease of doing business. 

As the eighth most populous country and with one of the highest rates of economic growth in the world, Bangladesh offers US companies a market of incredible potential with tens of millions of increasingly affluent consumers, he said in a statement today.

The United States is among Bangladesh’s top trading partners.

The large number of participating US companies reflects their confidence that Bangladesh is ready to expand its commercial ties with the United States through fair and reciprocal trade. 

Trade Winds, now in its 11th year, has directly supported more than $3.4 billion in U.S. exports in over 40 countries, and in 2018, US exports of goods and services to the Indo-Pacific region were more than $476 billion.

In 2017, the mission brought 100 companies to Southeast Europe and accounted for more than $3 billion in US exports.  Thus far, Trade Winds has helped US companies conduct over 4,000 pre-vetted, business-to-business meetings and over 6,000 government-to-business meetings around the world.

This was Assistant Secretary Steff’s first visit to Bangladesh.  He was impressed by the warmth and hospitality of the people of Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s ascent into middle income status.

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