US Ambassador in Bangladesh Dan Mozena on Tuesday said many American companies have raised their concern of buying ready-made-garment products from Bangladesh after the killing of a labour leader.
“US companies want to buy products from Bangladesh because Bangladesh is a good country, good products, good people, but they are very concern about labour issues, safety at work place and freedom of association in Bangladesh,” he said.
These companies will not take risk of their reputation, he said while speaking at a Meet-the-Press organised by the Jatiya Press Club.
Mozena said the labour issue and the killing of garment union leader Aminul Islam in early April, is an issue of considerable concern and tremendous disappointment as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) has filed a petition with the US authorities raising their concern and pressing for suspending Bangladesh’s access to GSP facilities.
The US envoy cautioned that if the petition AFL–CIO goes negative that would be detrimental to trade and investment in Bangladesh. He also mentioned the issued of lack of infrastructure, corruption and hartal as some major challenges to boosting trade and investment.
Turning to political situation in Bangladesh, the US Ambassador said he is confident about some kind of agreement between major political parties on how to hold free, fair and credible general elections.
“I saw recurring signal from both of the major parties manifesting some flexibility,” he said adding “‘I am hopeful that they will come up with a ground rule through dialogue, though not easy, on how to hold free, fair and credible election.”
“This country is a democracy. To be a democracy there must be a free and fair election. And so, there will be an agreement, I hope it will be now,” he added.
Mozena who came to Dhaka on Tuesday after his routine visit to Washington DC, Capitol Hill, Pentagon, Oregon and New York where he discussed the pressing issues of Bangladesh said one of the problems facing this country is political stability.