Exports from Bangladesh will get a huge boost, if the country joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade block, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena has said.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘United States-Bangladesh Relations with Special Reference to Security in the Bay of Bengal’, organized by the Centre for East Asia (Foundation), in cooperation with the US Embassy in Dhaka, Mr. Mozena said he hoped that the Government of Bangladesh, business bodies, and the civil society would rigorously explore possibility joining with the TPP.
“It’ll help Bangladesh become a middle-income country,” Mr. Mozena said, UNB reported.
Terming the current US-Bangladesh partnership as an all-time high, he said, the relationship and partnership between America and Bangladesh has never been deeper, broader and stronger than it is at this moment.
He said TPP is a proposed free trade agreement that would fasten Asia Pacific economic integrity by facilitating greater trade and investment among its members.
The Ambassador, however, cautioned that acceding to the TPP will not be easy as member states need to address concerns regarding workers’ rights and protections, environmental protection, and conservation, among other matters.
The nineteenth round of TPP negotiations ended recently in Brunei. The 12 countries negotiating the TPP agreement are the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand. These countries spread across three continents account for about 40 percent of global GDP and about 30 percent of international trade.
Bangladesh is currently one of the least developed countries and it is striving to become a middle-income nation by 2021.
In fiscal year 2012-13, Bangladesh earned US$ 27 billion in exports, with garments accounting for nearly 80 percent of the same. For the current financial year, the country has set an export target of US$ 30.5 billion.