Producing Covid Vaccines: Bangladesh to get priority in US plan
The US will prioritise Bangladesh in its plan for producing Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics and expanding production of PPE, a senior US official has said.
Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, senior official for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the US State Department, made the comment during a meeting with Salman F Rahman, prime minister's adviser for private industry and investment, in Washington DC on Tuesday.
At the meeting, both sides expressed willingness to work more closely to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
They underlined the need for remaining engaged through different institutional mechanisms and beyond onfurther deepening the partnership between the two friendly governments, according to the Bangladesh embassy in Washington.
The pandemic's adverse impacts on public health and global economy were discussed at the meeting.
Tuesday's meeting was a follow-up to the first Bangladesh-US Economic Partnership Meeting held on September 30 last year.
Adviser Salman thanked the US government for providing more than 5.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh through COVAX.
He stressed the need for scaling up the global production of Covid-19 vaccines and other pandemic management equipment to tackle the virus and also sought US assistance in encouraging its vaccine-producing companies to partner with capable Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies.
Salman said Bangladesh is ready to make the necessary investments for capacity enhancement of its pharma companies for such partnerships.
Discussions also took place on labour rights and safety, cooperation in energy, climate change, and agriculture, US investment, technology transfer, and restoring Biman flights between Dhaka and New York.
The PM's adviser mentioned about various initiatives to further improve labour rights and safety in Bangladesh. The US side appreciated Bangladesh's persistent efforts and offered its help to make more progress in this regard.
The US was highly appreciative of Bangladesh's recent move to cancel coal-based power plants.
Both sides recognised that the 2020 Economic Partnership Meeting provided momentum to the ongoing collaboration between the two countries. They agreed to hold the second round of the meeting later this year.
Finance Division Senior Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US M Shahidul Islam, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatima Yasmin, and officials of the US State Department also attended the meeting.