US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells, who is arriving in Dhaka tomorrow on a three-day visit, will seek stronger measures to prevent human trafficking, promote free media and trade between US and Bangladesh.
Alice, Washington’s focal point for the region, is also likely to express concerns over the government plan to relocate Rohingyas to Bhashanchar, diplomatic sources in Dhaka said.
According to a US embassy official, US appreciates Bangladesh’s significant economic growth, but it also has concerns over the situation of freedom of expression and human trafficking.
Alice is likely to share these concerns, the official said.
She would meet officials of the foreign and home ministries and civil society leaders during her stay in Bangladesh.
“This year, the US labelled Bangladesh as a ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ country for the third consecutive year. If it continues, the country may face trade problems with US,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
Bangladesh’s export to the US is $6 billion, while US exports to Bangladesh is only $2 billion. US is now wanting to find ways to reduce the trade deficit, the official said.
According to a US embassy statement, Alice will also visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and meet Bangladeshi officials and representatives from international and non-government organisations to discuss US humanitarian assistance and observe the conditions of refugees and host communities.
Meanwhile, USAID Deputy Administrator Donnie Glick is arriving today as part of a regional trip. During her visit to Bangladesh, she will meet government officials and representatives from NGOs and American Chamber of Commerce.
The deputy administrator will also travel to Cox’s Bazar to observe USAID’s development assistance for Bangladeshi communities affected by the Rohingya crisis and humanitarian efforts for Rohingya refugees.