FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin opined that Bangladesh should sign FTA with UK-one of the giant development and trade partners of Bangladesh,
He made this statement at the Networking Dinner in honor of the President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) & Chancellor of the University of Birmingham Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBE DL FCA on Tuesday evening at a city hotel.
FBCCI Chief sought CBI President’s support in Bangladesh’s initiatives for signing FTA with UK and also solicited his assistance for continuing the existing trade benefit received from UK in post LDC period.
“ We look forward to the future of our engagements through signing an MoU with CBI and joint programs for business promotion, industry-academia partnerships and skills development,” President added.
At present, trade between Bangladesh and the UK stands at US$5.46 billion. In the fiscal year FY 2021-22, Bangladesh exported US$4.83 billion while imports were US$ 0.63 billion.
Urging for UK investment, FBCCI President said, “with the present pace of business growth and infrastructural development, we will be able to become the South Asian center for excellence and a regional hub with access via road, rail and sea. We foresee the scope of strengthening cooperation in trade and investment with a focus on development and innovation, food processing, ICT, Plastic, petrochemical, shipbuilding, tourism, infrastructure development, petroleum and energy and knowledge transfer to facilitate the transition of the 4IR.”
Speaking as the Chief Guest Industry Minister Mr. Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, MP praised the democracy of Bangladesh and described the economic success stories that took place during the 15 years of tenure of the Awami League government. The UK will remain a friend in the future journey of Bangladesh toward a developing country, the ministers expected.
President of CBI and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, UK Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBE DL FCA recalled the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 as his father took part in that war as a member of the Indian Army. The Lord expected the two countries to work together in harnessing the potential of Bangladeshi youths highly skilled in ICT. In the future, the UK will welcome more Bangladeshi students in UK universities, the Chancellor of Birmingham University, UK. Developing empathy between two countries is essential to bolster the bilateral investment, the lord added.
Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the private sector of the two countries to conduct a feasibility study on exporting Bangladeshi agro-products to the UK. He also recommended undertaking initiatives to increase the access of Bangladeshi freelancers to the UK outsourcing market. The private sector also may work on how Bangladesh can export more doctors, nurses, and caregivers to the UK market, the foreign affairs secretary added.
British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson urged Bangladesh to work on getting more UK companies interested in investing in Bangladesh. He also suggested further developing the business environment.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu delivered the closing remarks at the event.
Among others, former presidents of FBCCI Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, AK Azad, Matlub Ahmad, Vice Presidents Md. Amin Helaly, Salahuddin Alamgir, Md. Habib Ullah Dawn and directors of FBCCI.