The US State Department wants Bangladesh to buy defence products from Washington. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said the State Department officials made the request when he recently visited Washington.

He had a meeting with his counterpart Mike Pompeo and also met other officials.

“At the assistant secretary level, they asked ‘why don’t’ you buy defence products from us? You buy them from other countries’,” he said on being asked about his visit after his meeting with Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.

Momen replied: “Of course we’ll buy if you are affordable”

He said particularly in spare parts the American defence contractors jack up the price.

“If you don’t do that and offer a special price then definitely we will buy them,” he told the State Department official.

“We don’t have any problem (buying from the US). Their price is just too high,” he said. Bangladesh traditionally buys defence products from China and Russia, the rivals of the Americans.

During his visit, Momen said he discussed almost all the issues including trade and investment.

He said US entrepreneurs informed him that they were keen to invest in Bangladesh’s energy sector which has huge potential.

“Americans are very keen to invest in the energy (sector) and they told me that General Electric was coming here with a huge investment offer,” he said.

The minister said he told the US officials that Bangladesh always encourages the diversity of investment and trade.

When asked, he said the US is apprehensive of the Chinese one-belt, one-road Initiative.

I told them you (US) can come and develop infrastructure through your Indo-Pacific strategy. You’ll be the winner.

We’ll be the winner. We maintain balanced relations with all.

He also told his counterpart Pompeo that Bangladesh’s economy was about to take off and “it’s time for you to join us”.

If you don’t join us now, you’ll lose the market.

If you guys want to make money, they should come to Bangladesh right now. Or else, they’ll miss the bus,” he said, on his maiden US visit after taking office as foreign minister.