Dhaka signs TICFA with Washington

Dhaka has at last signed the much-hyped deal — Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) which will, the government thinks, help expand trade and investment between Bangladesh and the USA through enhanced cooperation.

Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) Wendy Cutler and Bangladesh Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed signed TICFA on behalf of their respective sides in Washington on Monday.

TICFA provides an important mechanism for the United States and Bangladesh to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues as well as a forum to pursue cooperative activities, according to the USTR.

US-bdEarlier in the evening, US Ambassador Dan Mozena said TICFA establishes a bilateral forum, and Bangladesh and the US will meet once a year or could be more to identify obstacles to increasing bilateral trade and investment and how to overcome those obstacles, reports UNB.

There was supposed to be a brief meeting of the forum after the signing. “This is a good thing. It would be a short meeting, and both sides will introduce the issues that they would like to see as obstacles to increasing trade and investment,” Mozena said.

On June 22, former Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni in parliament said there is no possibility of affecting national security following signing of TICFA with the USA.

She also mentioned that since the main objective of TICFA agreement is to bolster trade and investment cooperation between Bangladesh and the US, there is no possibility of hampering national security.

On June 17, the cabinet approved the draft of TICFA, a legally ‘nonbinding’ agreement that emphasises prohibition of protectionist trade policy.