Bangladesh has invited the United States to explore opportunities in offshore blocks as Bangladesh identified 20 blocks through maritime boundary settlement, reports UNB.

The US side assured Bangladesh of encouraging their companies to invest in Bangladesh, state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam told journalists at a briefing after bilateral meeting with visiting US deputy secretary of state Stephen E Biegun.

Bangladesh also raised the Rohingya repatriation issue and laid emphasis on quick repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State

Responding to a question, the state minister said this is an open invitation but not for any specific US company.


He said the two sides discussed ways to ensure faster economic recovery for Bangladesh in the post COVID-19 s scenario and the US side encouraged for larger discussion on Free Trade Agreement considering Bangladesh's growing economy.

Bangladesh also sought preferential trade support for its products from the US to accelerate the economic recovery during the post-COVID era.

The Bangladesh side also raised the Rohingya repatriation issue and laid emphasis on quick repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.

The US also reiterated its commitment to work to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

They intend to engage themselves in this effort after the national election of Myanmar in November, said the state minister.

The US government has assured Bangladesh of taking steps so that US vaccines can be made available after successful production. The visa issue also came up for discussions.

On Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), he said Bangladesh supports an inclusive, peaceful and participatory region.

The US side expressed satisfaction that an American company has started supplying LNG to Bangladesh.

The US deputy secretary of state arrived here on Wednesday to discuss Bangladesh-US cooperation on COVID-19 response, recovery efforts and sustainable economic development.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen received the US deputy secretary of state upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport from New Delhi, India after wrapping up his three-day visit there.

US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller was also present, an official said.

Biegun will meet foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday morning and discuss issues of mutual interest and issues related to Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), a senior official told UNB.

He is scheduled to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Gonobhaban at 12:00pm on Thursday.

The deputy secretary's engagements in Bangladesh will focus on "advancing the common vision of a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and secure Indo-Pacific region" with shared prosperity for all, according to the office of the spokesperson at the US Department of State.

Deputy secretary Biegun will leave Bangladesh on 16 October.