Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday urged Canadian entrepreneurs to invest in one of the 100 Special Economic Zones of Bangladesh availing of the incentives and facilities are on offer the country’s investment-friendly policy.
Speaking at the inaugural programme of ‘Showcase Canada 2018’ (trade and education fair) at the International Convention City Bashundhara, he also hoped that the bilateral trade between Canada and Bangladesh will grow at $3 billion by 2021.
Canada and Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham Bangladesh) with support from the High Commission of Canada organised the two-day event, reports UNB.
“I would like to request Canadian entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh as our investment policy is excellent. We’re establishing 100 Special Economic Zones at different parts of the country. The Canadian investors can invest one of the Special Economic Zones, and they will be given all kinds of necessary facilities,” Tofail told the function.
He said Bangladesh is providing various incentives and facilities to the investors. “The investors can take back dividends and profits anytime if they want, and their investment will remain totally protected.”
Describing Canada as a very trusted and good friend of the country, the commerce minister said, “We’re extremely happy and grateful to the Canadian government for awarding us duty-free access of our all products to its market since 2003.”
He said Bangladesh’s export to Canada is now $1.15 billion while Canada’s export to Bangladesh is almost $600 million, and all together it is $1.75 billion.
“We’ve a target to take the two-way trade volume between the two countries to $3 billion by 2021 which will be the 50th anniversary of our independence,” he added.
Canada is one of the few counties where Bangladesh exports more than $1 billion, the minister said, adding that some Canadian entrepreneurs have also invested in Bangladesh’s RMG sector.
Tofail thanked the Canadian government for allowing a good number of Bangladeshi students to pursue higher studies in their country.
“Bangladeshi students are going to Canada for higher studies as Canada is ranked among the best countries that provide quality education in various fields of science, technology, arts and business management,” he said.
Besides, the commerce minister said, affordable lifestyle and tuition fee add to the benefits of studying in Canada for Bangladeshi students.
He hoped that the ‘Showcase Canada 2018’ will create further scope for Bangladeshi students to take higher studies in the country.
Tofail said Bangladesh also has a plan to arrange a single-country show in Canada to exhibit Bangladeshi products there.
He asked the local exporters to diversify their products as there are ample opportunities for them to export many items to Canada. “We can export jute, lather, pharmaceutical and many other products to Canada.”
Speaking at the programme, David Hartman, Director General for South Asia, Global Affairs Canada, said the fair is Canada’s flagship tradeshow here. “It’s an important marker of the growing strength of the trade relationship between the two countries.”
Stating that Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in terms of economic development and social indicators for health and education, he said, Canada’s core goal in Bangladesh is to build the underlying condition necessary for the advancement and prosperity in the both the countries.
“I’m very pleased to see that the world’s largest label manufacturing company, Checkpoints, which is a Canadian Company, has invested in Bangladesh. “I would like to encourage other Canadian companies to follow their footsteps in this market,” Hartman added.
Canadian High Commissioner to Benoit Préfontaine hoped that the Showcase Canada will bring a new dimension in the already established trade relationship between the two countries.
“I also hope Bangladeshi students will be highly benefited from one-to-one meeting and education sessions by the visiting Canadian university and college representatives,” he added.