Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes co-chaired the first U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue in Washington, DC on September 19-20, 2012. The delegations held productive conversations on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including development, civil society and governance; trade and investment; security and countering violent extremism; science and technology; women’s empowerment and gender equality.
The U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue provided an opportunity to expand the robust bilateral relationship between our two countries. Bangladesh, which lies at the crossroads of global powerhouses in South and East Asia, can play a key role in linking these critical regions. The United States welcomed the opportunity to use the Partnership Dialogue to further enhance our close ties on a range of areas of cooperation including:
Regional Integration: The United States appreciates Bangladesh’s commitment to greater regional integration, including its efforts to expand relations with neighbors such as India, China, Burma, and others. At the Partnership Dialogue, we encouraged Bangladesh to continue to play an active role in regional integration, including efforts such as the New Silk Road, the Indo-Pacific Corridor and Indian Ocean organizations.
Development and Governance: Bangladesh’s status as a moderate Muslim democracy and its flourishing civil society organizations are the foundation of our bilateral partnership. Bangladesh is a key participant in all major U.S. development initiatives, including food security, health, climate change, and women’s empowerment. The United States also works with Bangladesh to strengthen democratic institutions, protect human rights, ensure space for a vibrant civil society, and improve governance and transparency. At the Partnership Dialogue we also discussed the importance of appointing a respected leader to serve as the new Managing Director of Grameen Bank.
Trade, Labor and Investment: The two sides discussed ways to strengthen and expand our already robust bilateral trade and investment ties. The United States looks forward to working with Bangladesh on investment climate matters, energy capacity and energy security, and development of internationally recognized labor standards. We also discussed planned delegations of U.S. trade and U.S. energy experts visiting Bangladesh in the coming year.
Security Cooperation: The United States applauds the vital and active role Bangladesh plays in ensuring security and stability domestically, regionally and globally. At the Partnership Dialogue we reviewed our continued collaboration in countering violent extremism, military-to-military engagement, counter-narcotics efforts, UN peace-keeping operations, and humanitarian assistance.