US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Monday said the government of Bangladesh has been extremely responsive to their requests to help ensure foreigners’ safety in the face of the current threat.
She also said the ‘senseless deaths’ of Italian citizen Tavella and Japanese national Kunio have affected them all.
“I want to again offer condolences to the families and friends of Tavella and Kunio, whose senseless deaths have affected us all. We very much appreciate how very warm a welcome Bangladesh gives to foreigners,” Bernicat said.
The US Ambassador made the remarks responding to a question in a Facebook chat on women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Responding to another question, Bernicat said the RMG exports from Bangladesh to the US have continued to grow each year, including 2015, since the suspension of GSP (which does not in any case give duty-free benefits for garments from any country). “So, RMG exports to the US continue to benefit Bangladeshi women.”
The US Ambassador said as half of the population women have a vital role to play in any Bangladesh’s success as women’s empowerment is essential to a nation’s development.
“Here in Bangladesh women have been the driving force in your main export industry, the RMG sector. The US remains the single largest market of that sector,” Bernicat said.
On GSP issue, she reminded that GSP does not provide trade benefits to readymade garments from any country and before GSP for Bangladesh was suspended in 2013, less 1 percent of the goods exported from this country qualified for GSP benefits. “I’m confident that Bangladesh is taking the required steps in order for GSP to be restored,” Bernicat said.
Responding to another question, the US diplomat said there have been many advances in recent years and she is especially heartened to see more and more women finding their voice, especially in the public space; being employed in greater numbers.
“Advances are won by changing laws, but even more importantly, by changing attitudes within our societies. I see attitudes changing in Bangladesh and that includes among men as well as women,” Bernicat said.