US, Bangladesh hold talks on trade, labour reforms

Washington : The US and Bangladesh have discussed trade, digital economy and labour reforms at a key meeting here.

The US-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) Council held its fourth meeting in Washington on Thursday to promote expanded bilateral trade and investment in goods and services, bdnews24.com reported.

The meeting was co-chaired by Assistant US trade representative for South and Central Asian affairs Mark Linscott and secretary of Bangladesh's Commerce Ministry Shubhashish Bose.

The discussions focused on market access for US cotton, enabling a digital economy, transparency in government procurement and labour reforms in Bangladesh, according to an official statement.

"Both governments pledged their commitment to deepen their engagement and grow their trade and economic ties.

According to the report, Washington noted its concerns on overall labour reform and expressed its hope for ongoing collaboration with the private sector on worker safety.

Bangladesh was suspended from the generalized system of preferences programme in 2013 as a result of concerns on workers' rights and safety.

Dhaka and Washington had $7.2 billion in two-way trade in 2017.