Korean PM wants stronger economic ties with BD
Staff Reporter :
Visiting South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon on Sunday expressed his country's desire to take Bangladesh-Korea ties to the next level through stronger collaboration in key areas of mutual prosperity.
He highly appreciated Bangladesh's significant progress over the past years and laid emphasis on cooperation in three major areas -- energy and infrastructure and ICT -- diversifying products to boost Bangladesh's export beyond the readymade garment industry.
The Korean Prime Minister expressed his country's deep interest to invest in energy, infrastructure, ICT, IT and other potential sectors in Bangladesh for enhancing economic cooperation.
He was addressing the Bangladesh-Korea Business Forum with a theme 'Promoting Business Ties Today: Bringing Mutual Prosperity Tomorrow' in a city hotel.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and Korea International Trade Association (KITA) CEO and Chairman Young Ju Kim spoke at the Forum jointly organised by KITA and the FBCCI.
Prime Minister's Adviser on private industry and investment Salman F Rahman and business leaders were present.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi praised Korea as the significant development partnerÂ of Bangladesh, and hoped that the visit of Korean Prime Minister would open new avenue of cooperation in all aspects. Industries Minister Nurul Majid has mentioned Korea as the 6th largest foreign investor in Bangladesh and his Ministry is working as facilitator for making conducive environment for the investor. FBCCI Chief Fahim said Bangladesh has one of the most liberal and flexible investment regimes in South Asia to attract foreign direct investment. "Ease of doing business measures is being addressed at the highest level." In the afternoon, there were held bilateral talks between Bangladesh and South Korea, which began at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in Dhaka.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon are leading their respective sides at the official talks starting around 4:40pm.
On arrival of Lee Nak-yon at the Tiger gate of the PMO, Sheikh Hasina received him with a bouquet and then the two leaders moved to the meeting room.
Then both the Prime Ministers held a tete-tete for some time before joining the bilateral talks.
After the official talks, Bangladesh and South Korea signed three instruments on strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, diplomacy and culture between the two countries at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the city.
BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam and KOTRA Chief executive officer Kwon Pyung- Oh signed the first instrument on behalf of their respective sides, while Cultural Affairs Secretary in-charge Dr Md Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal and Vice-Foreign Minister of South Korea Lee Tae Ho inked the second instrument.
Principal of Foreign Service Academy Syed Masud Mahmood Khondoker and Vice- Foreign Minister of South Korea Lee Tae Ho signed the third instrument on behalf of their respective sides.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon witnessed the signing ceremony.
The instruments are a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), a document on cultural exchange programme between Bangladesh and South Korea for the years 2019-2023, and a MoU on cooperation between the Korea National Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea and the Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon arrived on Saturday afternoon on a three-day official visit.