VOL NO REGD NO DA 1589

Friday, February 11, 2005

Headline

News Watch

Trade & Finance

Editorial

World/Asia

Metro/Country

Corporate/Stock

Sports

 

FE Specials

FE Education

Young World

Growth of SMEs

Urban Property

Monthly Roundup

Business Review

FE IT

Saturday Feature

Asia/South Asia

 

Feature

44th National Day of the State of Kuwait

National Day of Brunei Darussalam

National Day of Australia

Asia Pharma Expo-2005

 

 

 

Archive

Site Search

 

HOME

HEADLINE
 
Bangladesh discusses position on new proposed clause
Third phase of TIFA negotiations with USA begins Sunday
Shakhawat Hossain
2/11/2005
 

          Bangladesh will raise its objection to the inclusion of a clause relating to bribery and corruption in the proposed trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) with the US government.
The country will press hard for replacing the words -- bribery and corruption -- in the relevant clause with the word, 'transparency,' during the upcoming negotiations, beginning in Dhaka from February 13 (Sunday), sources said.
This was decided Thursday at a high level inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by new commerce secretary Siddiqur Rahman. The meeting discussed the country's position for the third round of negotiations on the purposed TIFA deal.
Siddiqur Rahman, however, declined to disclose the outcome of the meeting.
"We are considering many options and so far nothing has been confirmed", he told the FE.
But sources in the commerce ministry said the meeting has decided to object to the inclusion of such wordings -- bribery and corruption -- in the proposed clause for 'technical reasons'.
The meeting was attended by the officials from the law and foreign ministries, the Board of Investment (BOI) and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) as well as leaders of the chamber bodies.
"Under new conditions, the charges of bribery and corruption random may at random be brought against Bangladesh," said an official on condition of anonymity.
The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has already sent the new draft in which the new clause calling for elimination of bribery and corruption in international trade and investment was incorporated.
Betsee E Steelman, a senior US trade policy advisor for Asia and Pacific affairs, is scheduled to arrive on February 13 on a five-day visit to finalise the TIFA draft.
The agreement is expected to be finalised during the visit of Steelman. The US has addressed all the major concerns that Bangladesh raised over the second TIFA draft, according to a senior commerce ministry official.
The US has, however, agreed to Bangladesh's proposal for exclusion of issues related to labour laws, environment and intellectual property rights from the main text.
Dhaka had pleaded for exclusion of issues related to labour laws, environment and intellectual property rights from the main text of the agreement since the US included them in the first and second TIFA draft.
Earlier, two rounds of negotiations on the proposed agreement were held in Dhaka in August 2003 and March 2004. Those meetings were attended by the US assistant trade representative, Ashley Wills.
The second TIFA draft made introduction of trade union in all areas and mandatory protection of labour rights, in line with the international practices, as conditions for the TIFA deal.
The third draft calls for formation of a joint council between two countries for monitoring trade and investment relations and to identify the opportunities for expansion of trade.
The US ambassador to Bangladesh, Harry K Thomas has recently said economic relations between the two countries would further be deepened after the signing of the framework agreement.
He also termed the agreement a first step towards concluding a bilateral free-trade accord between the US and Bangladesh.

 

 
  More Headline
Third phase of TIFA negotiations with USA begins Sunday
Govt will import rice from India on emergency basis
WB unhappy over slow progress of power sector reform
Call rate down to 40pc as liquidity improves
MCCI suggests measures to expedite execution of ADP projects
Advisory panel to facilitate SMEsí growth
Fire at Tengratila burnt gas worth $2.0m
Share markets bounce back posting gains
Banglalink launches commercial activities
Tax Ombudsman soon to ensure transparency in administration
Dhaka pins hopes of economic transformation on coal
Proposals reopen debate on 'stingy' US
Ctg Port now releases containers in three days
Saifur off to S Arabia to attend signing ceremony
Abducted 2 police sergeants buy freedom for Tk 0.2m
WB wants social safety net for affected rickshaw-pullers
Standard Chartered Bank
N Korea announces its nuclear capability
Prince Charles to marry long-loved Camilla
 

Print this page | Mail this page | Save this page | Make this page my home page

About us  |  Contact us  |  Editor's panel  |  Career opportunity | Web Mail

 

 

 

 

Copy right @ financialexpress.com