Daily Star | Sunday, February 8, 2009
Tifa yet not on table: Boucher
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher today said till now Dhaka and Washington did not have an active negotiation on Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa).
“We did not talk about Tifa today. This is a framework agreement which lay down few basic ideas and principles that we can use to discuss further how to expand trade and investment,” he told reporters after meeting with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and State Minister Hasan Mahmud at the foreign ministry.
Elaborating on the US stance on the much-debated Tifa agreement, Boucher said the new administration in Washington wanted to look at various trade agreements and negotiations before getting started negotiations. “I wouldn’t be too much excited about the framework agreement,” he added.
Boucher who arrived here yesterday to talk to the new government said the United States likes to support strengthening democracy, curbing corruption, working hard against terrorism and bringing benefits of economics and development to the people of Bangladesh.
“Those are areas where US wants to be involved with Bangladesh. We find more and more areas where we can work together,” the US envoy said.
Asked about specific issue he discussed with the foreign minister, Boucher said “US is going to be very supportive of Bangladesh.”
He said also reiterated his government’s stance to support proposed Anti-Terrorism Task Force in South Asia.
They also talked about climate change, which Boucher identified as a high priority issue both for Washington as well as the new administration in Dhaka.