Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the United States to waive export duties on Bangladeshi ready-made garments for two years, considering that many US buyers have cancelled import orders amid Covid-19 pandemic resulting in layoff of workers, mostly women.
He also sought US investments in Bangladesh's health sector through its International Development Finance Corporation fund as the current unprecedented situation has exposed the country's need for global partnership in its healthcare system.
Momen made the urges at a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Michael R Pompeo on Monday evening, a foreign ministry press release said on Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Pompeo lauded Bangladesh government's initiatives in containing the pandemic and assured of his country's continued cooperation in this regard.
The Bangladesh foreign minister urged the US to take further stronger actions against Myanmar as Naypyidaw has been prolonging the implementation process of an agreement to take back the Rohingyas, who were forcibly displaced to Bangladesh.
Momen also expressed his concerns over recent military crackdowns in Rakhine state of Myanmar, the land of origin of the Rohingyas.
Pompeo commended Bangladesh's continued generosity in hosting the Rohingyas and mentioned that the US has so far contributed nearly $820 million in humanitarian assistance addressing the crisis.
The US secretary of state also praised Bangladesh's success in securing an elevated status to "Tire-2" at the TIP report, an US global ranking of countries with human trafficking records.
Momen also urged Pompeo to take necessary steps to deport Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman now residing in the US, so that Bangladesh can execute the verdict of the Bangabandhu murder trial.
Both the foreign ministers laid emphasis on further strengthening the current excellent bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the USA.
Meanwhile, regarding the teleconference, a press release of the US State Department said Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Momen reviewed the more-than-$43 million in Covid-19 assistance that the US has provided thus far to Bangladesh.
They also discussed Dhaka's critical role in the international response to the pandemic by manufacturing emergency medical and protective supplies, it added.
The two leaders renewed commitments to support the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Burma (Myanmar), said the release.