'Ambassadors must contribute to expanding trade post-coronavirus'
Business Desk :
The embassies of Bangladesh need to work to take advantage of post-novel coronavirus export trade; with the ambassadors posted to different countries playing an important role.
This was stated by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at his official residence in the capital on Sunday, according to a press release.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary, Ambassador to Kuwait Major General Md Ashikuzzaman and Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mohammad Zahangir Alam, participated in an online meeting arranged with the minister.
"The ambassadors must contribute to the expansion of trade," said the minister.
"Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Uzbekistan are friends of Bangladesh. There is a lot of demand for Bangladeshi products in those countries. Trade opportunities should be taken while maintaining friendly relations with the traders of the countries concerned," said the minister of commerce.
He added that it is possible to increase trade through exchanges of visits by business people of all the countries.
Due to Covid-19, Bangladesh has an opportunity in the changed world of trade and this opportunity must be used efficiently, Tipu Munshi said.
Despite the global recession, Bangladesh's export earnings increased by 23.08 million from July last year to July this year. The ambassadors need to go beyond their traditional duties and contribute to the country's export growth, said the minister in his speech.
Tipu Munshi said, the construction of special economic zones is progressing fast under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
So, there are investment opportunities and the government of Bangladesh is providing attractive facilities for domestic and foreign investment. These should be presented to foreign investors, he said.
"Russia is a large market. We are working to enter this market. So, Uzbekistan is very important for Bangladesh. Uzbekistan is also interested in increasing trade with Bangladesh. Both countries are working to eliminate trade barriers. In this case, the ambassador of Bangladesh has to play a lead role," said Tipu Munshi, according to the press release.
In the last financial year, Bangladesh exported goods to Saudi Arabia worth $262.87 million, and imported goods worth $796.41 million from July to May.
Bangladesh has exported goods worth $23.52 million to Kuwait and imported goods worth $382.12 million from there between July and May.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has exported goods worth $19.16 million to Uzbekistan and imported goods worth $68 million from there in 2018-2019 fiscal year.
The Secretary of Commerce Md Jafar Uddin, Additional Secretary (Exports) Obaidul Azam, Additional Secretary (FTA) Sharifa Khan were also present at the meeting.