Originally posted in The Daily Star on 10 November 2022
The US investors are keen to invest in energy, particularly Liquified Natural Gas, Arun Venkataraman, senior US trade official, said yesterday in Dhaka.
Venkataraman, assistant secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service, was speaking at a press conference after the inauguration of the 28th US Trade Show and new office of the US Commercial Services at Sonargaon Hotel.
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In his speech at the show, he said US companies stand ready to help in infrastructure, dredging project, information and communication technologies, franchise in healthcare, digital economy, and blue economy, and also collaborate in airport expansion in Dhaka.
There are so many examples of US-Bangladesh partnership in different sectors, said Venkataraman.
Regarding the US investment and business climate, he said the US has been working with the government, International Labour Organisation and European Union to strengthen the labour environment in Bangladesh.
“Opening this brand-new commercial office is a critical reflection of the success of our 50-year relationship with Bangladesh and a testament to this government’s success in recent years in growing the Bangladeshi economy and putting it in trajectory to emerge from the least developed country status to a middle-income status,” said Venkataraman.
“And more importantly we view the opening of this office as a commitment to Bangladesh’s future. We are proud of the 50 years of partnership that we have had and particularly from the US government and from the US business community. And we see this commercial service centre as a commitment to build on that for the next 50 years.”
Previously, the commercial services of the US embassy for Bangladesh were operated from Kolkata.
The value of total trade between the two countries exceeded $10 billion in the last fiscal year and the US is the largest export destination and biggest source for FDI for Bangladesh.
Lauding Bangladesh’s economic growth, Venkataraman said even in the high time of the pandemic the country’s economy continues to grow.
At the event, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said he discussed the revival of Bangladesh’s Generalised System of Preferences status in the US.
He said a team from Bangladesh would visit the cotton-growing regions in the US before deciding to do away with double-checking the cotton imported from the US, as the American government has long been requesting Bangladesh.
All the issues will be discussed in the upcoming Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement to be held in the US in December this year.