US report lists business, investment challenges in Bangladesh

America’s trade office has outlined a host of business and investment concerns in Bangladesh, citing alleged corruption and extortion in commercial transactions.

The latest report from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) underscores barriers in digital trade, intellectual property protection violations, and worker rights infringements, including safety issues and freedom of association.

In a latest report USTR has also identified barriers in digital trade, violations of intellectual property protection and worker rights, including fire and building safety and freedom of association.
The 2024 National Trade Estimate Report highlights impediments to investment and foreign trade in Bangladesh, prompting objections from Dhaka.

The 2024 National Trade Estimate Report highlights impediments to investment and foreign trade in Bangladesh, prompting objections from Dhaka.

Corruption emerges as a pervasive issue, with anti-corruption enforcement described as inadequate even if American companies have voiced grievances over prolonged approval processes, alleging ‘solicitation of bribes’ by Bangladeshi officials.

Furthermore, there are allegations of attempts to undermine the independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission. Bid rigging and favouritism towards local partners in procurement processes have also been raised, disadvantaging US companies.

Concerns extend to repatriation of profits, with cumbersome procedures and significant delays cited by US and other international investors. Regulatory hurdles impede timely remittances, while challenges in government procurement persist despite Bangladesh’s public commitment to international bidding principles.

The report also scrutinises Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act, which grants the government broad powers over data access and online communications.

While acknowledging Bangladesh’s legislative reforms in intellectual property, the report underscores ongoing challenges, including enforcement issues and a growing trend of counterfeiting.

It may be mentioned here Bangladesh’s eligibility for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) remains suspended due to concerns regarding worker rights in the garment sector.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DR)


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