The United States continues to promote its partnerships with like-minded countries in South Asia. One such country is Bangladesh, the eighth most populous nation in the world and a partner of the United States.
The United States and Bangladesh enjoy a robust and growing bilateral relationship based on shared interests and common goals. To further this partnership, in 2012, the two countries launched the annual, high-level Partnership Dialogue.
In October, the third Partnership Dialogue convened in Washington, co-chaired by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque.
Since the second Partnership Dialogue in Dhaka last May, cooperation between the two countries has grown in many ways. They signed and implemented agreements to strengthen their common fight against terrorism and against drug trafficking. The partnership also helped Bangladesh advance toward both food self-sufficiency and achievement of Millennium Development Goals. A highlight of the security partnership was the arrival in December of a U.S.-donated ship, now the largest ship in the Bangladeshi fleet. A sister ship will arrive in Bangladesh in the spring.
The world’s top troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, Bangladesh already bolsters global peace and security. To further boost its peace-keeping capacity, the U.S. is funding a major expansion of Bangladesh’s peacekeeping operations training center.
The United States and Bangladesh are also cooperating closely on numerous issues that directly affect their populations, including climate change, gender-based violence, and workers' safety and labor rights.
The United States recognizes Bangladesh’s challenges of improving workplace safety and workers’ rights, and of protecting citizens’ rights and fundamental freedoms. But despite considerable progress, much remains to be done. The United States will continue to partner with stakeholders to help Bangladesh transform the apparel industry. The United States also urges Bangladesh to protect the vibrant civil society that has contributed so much to that nation.
Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in reducing poverty, slashing maternal and child mortality, and increasing girls’ access to primary education. Both countries are now partnering to improve the economic and political participation of women, an essential step in accelerating growth.
Finally, the two countries aim to engage young people in dialogue and promoting shared values, aspirations, and common interests. By doing so, they ensure that the strong relationship between the United States and Bangladesh will continue into the future.