Bangladesh approves trade deal with US

_h353_w628_m6_otrue_lfalseBangladesh on Monday approved a trade agreement with the United States as it comes under intense pressure from Washington to improve labour rights following a series of factory disasters.

Bangladesh’s Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, agreed the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) to be signed with the United States, cabinet secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told AFP.

The deal will lead to stronger trade and investment ties between the two countries on the back of growing Bangladeshi garment exports to the US, he said.

The deal will also “ensure protection of intellectual property, curb corruption and ensure labour rights”, he told reporters.

Bangladeshi trade officials have said Washington proposed the deal several years ago, but Dhaka resisted signing the accord because of concerns it could lead to scrutiny of the country’s poor labour and intellectual property laws.

Dhaka’s position reversed after it came under intense pressure, including from Western governments, to improve working conditions in the country’s 4,500 garment factories following a series of industrial disasters that killed some 1,250 people.

A spokesperson for the US embassy in Dhaka welcomed Monday’s decision saying “we look forward to further discussion so that the agreement can be signed in the near future”.

Two-way goods trade between the countries totalled $5.4 billion in 2012, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative website.

Last week the US said it would soon decide whether to suspend Bangladesh from a duty-free accord as it urged Dhaka to take action to improve labour conditions.

President Barack Obama’s administration in January launched a review on whether to keep Bangladesh in the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, which provides duty-free access for thousands of goods.

The review was under way when Rana Plaza, a nine-story garment factory complex on the outskirts of Dhaka, crumbled on April 24 and killed 1,129 people.

Bhuiyan, the cabinet secretary, said the approval of Ticfa was not linked to the GSP, but he said signing the deal could “eventually positively impact” on the US decision on the duty-free accord to Bangladesh.

 

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | June 17, 2013

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Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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