Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has requested US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller to restore the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facilities which were revoked after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013.
Mustafa Kamal said preferential access to, and investment in US markets can help Bangladesh overcome the adverse effects on trade and economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Presenting the prevailing Covid-19 condition in Bangladesh, the minister sought help from the USA while talking to the ambassador over the phone on Thursday.
"The USA is the largest export market for Bangladesh. Our GSP facilities were revoked in 2013. Later, the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) was signed, however, the GSP issue has not been resolved yet. To overcome the problems in trade and economy caused by Covid-19 in Bangladesh, the preferential access to, and investment in US preferential markets can help," said Mustafa Kamal.
The finance minister thanked the USA for contributing $3.4 million to counter Covid-19.
Mentioning the Tk95,000 crore stimulus package declared by the prime minister, Mustafa asked for funds from the USA with low interest rates, especially for health, capacity and infrastructure development, expanding the social safety net, mechanising agriculture, and assistance in education, and disaster management.
Assuring support in the health and agriculture sector, Earl Miller presented various loan facilities offered by US Exim Bank. He informed the minister of the one-year direct loan or loan guarantee programme, supply chain financing guarantee programme, working capital guarantee programme, and delivery or pre-export financing programme.