DHAKA: The Bangladesh embassy in a statement said the ambassador made the demand on behalf of all least developed countries (LDCs) during the meeting. Bangladesh is the current chair of the Global Coordination Bureau of the LDCs.
Senator Gardener of Colorado thanked the ambassador for the briefing and said “he would look into the matter of the DFQF access”. He is a member on the Foreign Relations Committee and Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the US Senate.
This was Ambassador Ziauddin’s third meeting with a US senator since President Donald Trump took office on Jan 20.
Earlier, he met Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and briefed them about Bangladesh.
Currently, only 34 LDCs enjoy DFQF market access under AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) enacted by the US government in 2000. The purpose is to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region.
The AGOA was extended in June 2015 by a further 10 years to 2025.
Ambassador Ziauddin informed the senator that out of the 14 other LDCs, which are left out of this DFQF market arrangement by the US, nine are Asian countries, including Bangladesh, four Oceanic countries and Haiti.
“These countries feel discriminated against and thus seek equal treatment from the USA on the basis of justice and fair play. The European Union provides DFQF access to all the LDCs under an arrangement called ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA),” he was quoted as saying.
He also briefed the Senator on various development activities of the Bangladesh government, including counter terrorism cooperation, women empowerment and relations with neighbouring countries.
He highlighted the fact that more than four million garment workers of Bangladesh were women contributing to the economy as well as to society by alleviating poverty and containing the menace of terrorism.
“Therefore, he pointed out that if the Bangladesh economy could grow further with the help of US market access, then there would be more women empowerment and societal change by which Bangladesh could control and ultimately eliminate the roots of terrorism and violent extremism with its own resources”.