Bangladesh and the United States of America (US) have expressed their willingness to work together to develop an inclusive blue economy by sharing knowledge, data and ideas as well as building greater capacity and enhancing professional collaboration.
According to a joint statement regarding the vision for advancing the US-Bangladesh Economic partnership, the two friendly countries also want to work towards advancing economic ties to facilitate sustainable supply chains and generate more employment to further strengthen ties.
The two states underlined the need for bilateral cooperation to help overcome the global economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, while sharing the common vision of a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and secure Indo-Pacific region, the statement, published by US Department of State on Monday, added.
The joint statement was issued by the two governments after a high-level virtual meeting on 30 September, joined by US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment, Keith Krach and Adviser for Private Sector Industry and Investment to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Salman F. Rahman.
During the meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues regarding bilateral cooperation on investment, energy, digital policy, blue economy, connectivity, and public health for building a strong economic partnership and trade ties between the two countries.
The meeting's participants said that such talks should continue and praised US technical assistance – provided to Bangladesh on laws and policies related to these matters – from the US Department of Commerce's Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP).
According to the joint statement, Bangladesh and the US are likely to have a senior level conversation regarding sharing information on telecommunications security, as they move towards further expanding 4G connectivity and developing 5G networks and services.
The meeting participants recognised the importance of an innovative digital ecosystem to facilitate the cross-border flow of information and data based on secure and reliable networks.
They also recognised that fast economic recovery would necessitate new forms of protection for the workforce and population, including for women and children. They said these changes would require enhanced bilateral and global cooperation.
The participants underscored the importance of further enhancing their cooperation and capabilities for public health preparedness. They recommended that a Joint Public Health Experts Response Group be established by the two governments.
The group, if formed, would meet urgently and then periodically to find ways for stronger bilateral, regional and global collaboration in terms of medical education, capacity building and primary health care and adolescent health, the joint statement noted.
The meeting's participants expressed hope that fair procurement processes in Bangladesh, in accordance with its Government Procurement Rules, would contribute to further expanding US trade and investment in Bangladesh.
The US is Bangladesh's single largest export destination. As a least developed country, 97% of the goods originating from Bangladesh enjoy duty-free benefits in the US markets as per the decision taken by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2005.
According to official figures, the two-way Bangladesh-US trade volume in 2019 was around US$9 billion, an amount which was doubled over 10 years.