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No TICFA until GSP:Tofail

No TICFA until GSP:Tofail

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has told Parliament that the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) with the United States would not be effective until restoration of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Bangladesh.”The Ticfa will not be effective until we get back GSP facilities,” he said on wednesday replying to a supplementary question from treasury bench MP Shamim Osman (Narayanganj-4).Tofail said there might be political reasons behind not restoring GSP despite Bangladesh’s fulfilment of all the conditions for getting the GSP facilities.“We’ve met all the 16 conditions for getting the GSP facilities in the United States market and there is no logical reason for not getting back the GSP,” he said.

The Commerce Minister said that the US representatives in recent three meetings admitted that Bangladesh made tremendous improvement in ensuring worker safety.”But they said that Bangladesh has to do more without mentioning in which sector we should improve. We don’t know what more improvement we have to make,” he added.In June 2013, the US suspended the GSP for Bangladesh that resulted in brining back tariff on some of Bangladesh’s exports to the US markets under the programme.