US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Thursday said the United States does not discourage its citizens to travel to Bangladesh as the US is committed to having ‘robust’ business relations with Bangladesh, agencies report. “We’re telling people to come to Bangladesh but to exercise caution and aware of situation. We’re encouraging people to continue doing business here,” she said terming Bangladesh an important partner.
Bernicat made the remark while talking to reporters after her meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at its conference room. BGMEA president M Siddiqur Rahman, senior vice president Faruque Hassan and vice president (Finance) Mohammed Nasir were present.
After the July 1 café attack, the US advised their citizens to exercise caution but did not say not to travel to Bangladesh. On August 4, the US Ambassador said the government must also work to reassure foreign investors that it is taking all appropriate measures to ensure the security of their factories and personnel in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Bangladesh.
This includes ‘clear and authoritative messaging’ from the government when attacks occur to reassure the public, and the government’s unambiguous and undivided attention on defeating this new form of terrorism.
Explaining US position in BGMEA event, the Ambassador said they were duty-bound to advise their citizens about the conditions around the world that might affect their travel but that does not mean telling people to avoid travel. Mentioning that US is the largest buyer of Bangladeshi products as a single country, Bernicat said, “We hope to remain your best customer.”
Siddiqur Rahman said they discussed the factory safety and workers rights issues among other matters during the hour-long meeting. The US envoy introduced her new Embassy colleagues with the BGMEA leaders.