4th US-Bangla partnership dialogue April 29-30

4th US-Bangla partnership dialogue April 29-30

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The fourth Partnership Dialogue between Bangladesh and the United States will be held here on April 29-30 to review the progress and identify areas for cooperation on bilateral, regional and international priorities.
It will also focus on the expansion of security, trade and development ties between the two countries apart from reviewing the labour conditions in Bangladesh, said a diplomatic source.
However, US Embassy Spokesperson Monica L Shie said they are still working to confirm the plans. “We’re working to confirm plans for the Partnership Dialogue,” she told UNB.
The issue of restoring GSP – Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – will also come for discussions, sources said.
In January this year, a USTR-led interagency review concluded that while Bangladesh has made progress over the last year to address fire and building safety issues in the readymade garment (RMG) sector, further progress is needed, including to address serious worker rights issues, before reinstatement of Bangladesh’s trade benefits under GSP can be considered.
President Obama suspended Bangladesh from GSP in June 2013 based on Bangladesh’s failure to meet statutory eligibility requirements related to worker rights.
There will be a joint press conference on April 30 on the outcome of the dialogue soon after the event with a joint declaration.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will lead the Bangladesh side while US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman the US side. She is expected to arrive here on April 28.
Representatives from the ministries and divisions of foreign, commerce, energy, home, food and disaster management, economic relations and armed forces will be there in the Bangladesh delegation.
The fourth Partnership Dialogue will cover the full range of bilateral and regional topics of interest, including development and governance, trade and investment, and security cooperation.
There will be working and plenary sessions which will review the progress and identify areas for deepened cooperation on bilateral, regional and international priorities, including sustainable development, counterterrorism, migration, and climate change.
The first dialogue was held in Washington DC on September 19-20 in 2012, the second one in Dhaka on May 26-27 and the third Partnership Dialogue was held in Washington on October 28-29.
The two leaders, in the last dialogue, highlighted the robust and growing bilateral ties between Bangladesh and the United States and affirmed that the relationship is based on shared values and common goals of the two countries and their peoples.
They recognised that the Partnership Dialogue, established in 2012, presents an opportunity for the two moderate and pluralistic nations to engage in fruitful discussions towards a broader and deeper relationship. – UNB

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