‘Bangladeshi businessmen earned the US market through competition’
Election Commission fully independent
Salman F Rahman, prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser, welcomed the US visa restrictions to those who would stand in the way of holding the upcoming elections free and fair, and said this would not have any impact on the trade.
“America is our largest market. We got it through competition. They didn’t give any special access,” he said, replying to a question after inaugurating a three-day international conference on “Spatial Planning for Attaining National and Global Goals”.
Washington on Friday said that it started applying visa restrictions on individuals from the ruling party, the opposition and the members of the law enforcing agencies, following its announcement on May 24.
“I think it’s good. We also want free and fair elections,” Salman said, adding that the opposition who were publicly saying that they would prevent any elections under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would be in trouble.
“The visa will not impact trade. There is no relation to it,” he said, adding that Bangladeshi businessmen, workers earned the US market through competition and giving 15.5% duty.
“It’s our credit. America didn’t do anything special to me,” he said. “We get duty free access in the European market, Canada, India, China and Australia. We don’t have that access to the US market.”
Replying to a question on the EU’s decision not to send observers during the elections, he said: “It’s up to them.
“Our Election Commission is fully independent. Once it was attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made it independent. We also ensured transparent ballot boxes,” he said.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.