"It is our commitment to ensure self-sufficiency in food production, supply safe and nutritious food as well as commercialize the agriculture sector for making it a profitable venture to poor farmers. This has been reflected in our policy documents and plans," he said.

The minister said this while inaugurating the "Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Project" as the chief guest at a function in the city, said a press release. The US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service has funded the project.

The US dollar 27 million project supports the government of Bangladesh to implement the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement in the areas of simplifying and automating import and export processes, strengthening risk-based clearance processes, improving notification provisions, developing the capacity and testing procedures of laboratories, and enhancing the cold chain system for facilitating trade of perishable goods.

Commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) director Abul Kasem Khan, among others, spoke on the occasion.

In his speech, Tipu Munshi said the government strives to improve the regulatory regime, address the capacity gaps in respect to human resources and infrastructure and modernize the product clearance processes for ease of doing business.

"The National Trade Facilitation Committee under my leadership oversees the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement of the WTO," he added.

Noting the investment from the American people, ambassador Miller, in turn, confirmed the U.S. Government's support for Bangladesh's reform measures and promotion of a business-friendly trade environment.

"This project will facilitate and incentivize investment, construction, and the operation of new cold storage facilities to improve and expand on Bangladesh's refrigerated logistics network," ambassador Miller said.

The Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Project is a five-year initiative that will promote policy reform, and provide technical, logistical, and technological assistance to government of Bangladesh agencies and agricultural and food industry stakeholders.

The goal is to make importing and exporting agricultural products more efficient.

Each project activity addresses one or more WTO TFA measures and the objectives are aligned with the country's Eighth Five-Year Plan, Promoting Prosperity and Fostering Inclusiveness.

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