ISSN 2330-717X

Promoting US-Bangladesh Ties Through US Trade Show – OpEd

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The US is Bangladesh’s top export destination. It is one of Bangladesh’s main sources of FID. Chevron, which generates 50% of Bangladesh’s natural gas, is the largest American investment in the nation. The $6 billion in bilateral trade in 2014 was.

Agriculture (including soybeans, cotton, wheat, and dairy goods), airplanes, machinery, engines, and iron and steel products are among the main US exports to Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a country that the United States imports apparel, footwear, textiles, toys, sporting goods, shrimp, and agricultural products.

In 1991 and 2007, the US helped Bangladesh during storm relief operations. US direct investment in Bangladesh totaled $460 million in 2017, an increase of 0.4% over the previous year. Between January and October of last year, Bangladesh exported a total of $9.4 billion to the United States.

The American government has sent 28 million vaccines to Bangladesh along with $218 million in Covid-19 contributions. Additionally, a US corporation and Bangladesh have agreed to install the undersea submarine cable that will connect France to Singapore by 2023 at a cost of $700 million to $1 billion.

America’s principal South Asian ally is Bangladesh. The two nations work closely together in the areas of climate change, counterterrorism, and regional and international security. Bangladesh plays a significant role in the Obama administration’s essential global development projects, which cover the environment, healthcare, and food security. A strategic discussion pact was struck between the two nations in 2012. Marcia Bernikat, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, said the relationship was “vibrant, complex, and crucial” in 2015. Outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bangladesh received the most US aid in Asia as of 2016. The Bangladeshi American community contributes to the improvement of US-Bangladesh ties. 

The US ambassador in Dhaka, Peter D. Haas expressed interest in investing more in Bangladesh’s energy sector, heavy machinery and technology sector. At this time, he expressed hope that US investment will play a role in becoming a middle-income country. Moreover, this US diplomat also called a large middle-class consumer class of this country as an opportunity for US businessmen.

The US ambassador said these things in a press conference about the three-day US trade exhibition at a hotel in the capital on Tuesday. The 28th Annual US Trade Show 2022 was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AMCHAM) and the US Embassy from October 27 to 29 at Sonargaon Hotel. Peter D. Haas, the ambassador of the US Embassy in Dhaka, was present at the press conference organized in this regard. 

Haas said that high-quality products and services of the United States will be exhibited in this fair. He said that the trade between the two countries was only 1 billion 30 years ago, but it reached 11 billion last year. It was also informed in the press conference that a message will be given from this exhibition about the huge consumer market and investment environment of this country for US investors. In the last 50 years, out of a total of 22 billion dollars of foreign investment in Bangladesh, the United States has invested 4.4 billion dollars. The US ambassador also said that more investments will be made in agriculture, infrastructure and renewable energy.

This 3-day exhibition, which started in 1992, has become known as one of the biggest events in Bangladesh. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will inaugurate the event on 28th. This year, 76 booths of 44 companies will be represented in this 3-day event. In addition to showcasing American products and services, there will also be five seminars during the show. There will be a special seminar on studying in the United States. Besides, there will be seminars on private sector, regional relations.

The event will be open for visitors for three days from 10 am to 8 pm. The entry fee for this show is Tk 30 per person. However, students in uniform or with identity cards will be allowed free entry. There will be attractive prizes for a few winners from the audience through a lottery of ticket coupons.

It should be noted that AMCHAM started working as American Bangladesh Economic Forum since 1988. Later in 1996, the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh or AMCHAM was officially established.

Leading American businesses from Bangladesh will participate in the three-day U.S. Trade Show, which will also feature lectures from the U.S. Embassy on visas, higher education options in the US, USAID’s support for Bangladesh’s private sector development, and intellectual property rights.

On Thursday, the 28th US Trade Show will be officially opened by US Ambassador Peter D. Haas at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. It will highlight the top-notch, cutting-edge American products and services that American firms provide in Bangladesh and is being organized in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Bangladesh.

From October 27 to 29, more than 40 Bangladesh-based exhibitors, including those in the energy, banking and financial services, food and beverage, and other industries, will present the goods and services of American companies.

The trade shows this year is particularly notable because it is the first one hosted by the United States in Dhaka since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

It also coincides with the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties between the United States and Bangladesh. The main export market for goods from Bangladesh is the United States, and two-way trade between the two countries reached $10.64 billion in 2021.

The American Embassy will hold four instructive lectures throughout the Trade Show. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will moderate a conversation on USAID in Bangladesh: Supporting Economic Growth and Engaging the Private Sector on Thursday, October 27 at 3:00 PM.

U.S. Embassy Dhaka Consular Officers and USA Advisors will jointly present on Friday, October 28 at 3:00 PM on the free consultative education services offered by the U.S. Embassy through its USA Advising Centers throughout Bangladesh as well as the process for applying for a student visa to study in the United States.

At 4:30 PM, U.S. Embassy Consular Officials will speak about the application process for U.S. visas, including business, investor, and work visas. Embassy representatives will participate in a panel presentation seminar on the effects of intellectual property rights on international trade on Saturday, October 29 at 4:30 p.m.

The U.S. commitment to working in partnership with Bangladesh to support its continued growth and development, economic diversification and resilience to external shocks and stressors, and support for an economic development strategy that abides by the principles of broadly shared prosperity for all is demonstrated by Dhaka’s participation in the annual U.S. Trade Show.

The annual Trade Show, which is organized in close collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, demonstrates the United States’ commitment to strengthening and expanding U.S.-Bangladesh economic and commercial ties while showcasing the high quality, cutting-edge American goods and services U.S. companies can offer Bangladeshi consumers. It also highlights the U.S. business community’s contributions to Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth story. Over 100 U.S. firms will have products and services on display from 48 exhibitors who operate in Bangladesh, including those in the energy, agro-mechanization, food and beverage, and other industries.

Commercial Show takes place at a crucial juncture for U.S.-Bangladesh investment and trade relations. The top export market for goods from Bangladesh is the United States. More than doubling from a decade prior, bilateral trade between the United States and Bangladesh reached $9 billion in 2019, with $2.3 billion in exports from the United States to Bangladesh.

“We are celebrating today at the Trade Show because U.S. companies bring to Bangladesh cutting edge technology, technology transfer, innovation, the highest quality products, integrity in our business practices, support and partnership with Bangladeshi companies, and the power of the private sector,” she said. She continued, citing examples of programs backed by corporate social responsibility, that American businesses also take their corporate obligations seriously.

This weekend’s trade show pushes new trade and investment arrangements and fosters company collaborations. It emphasizes how crucial it is for the US and the US private sector to be committed to conducting business in Bangladesh and bringing ethical standards and community involvement to the table. The participation of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka in the annual U.S. Trade Show demonstrates the U.S. commitment to assisting Bangladesh’s ongoing economic development as well as a strong partnership to help ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region while advancing the ideas of free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

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