Several deals are expected to be inked when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pays a four-day visit to Italy from February 4 to seek fresh investments.
She will visit Italy on the invitation of her Italian counterparty Giuseppe Conte and is aimed at further strengthening of bilateral ties.The visit is being seen as Dhaka’s efforts to strengthen its relations with its existing friends.
Dhaka is considering the visit as highly important as it involves the search for fresh investments by Italian entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, export of more items to Italy as well as seeking areas to export skilled manpower.
Sheikh Hasina will hold a bilateral meeting with her Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte on February 5, which will be followed by signing of deals. Officials of both the countries are now working on the deals.
The two leaders in their summit meeting will discuss the whole range of bilateral issues. Important regional and international matters of common concern will also come up for discussion.
Bangladesh is enjoying tariff-free access to the Italian market under the European Union’s (EU) Generalised System of Preference scheme, which is also known as Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at over US $1.62 Billion.
Italy also hosts a large Bangladeshi immigrant community who send significant amounts of remittance to Bangladesh and the remittance from Italy is growing at a faster rate, officials said.Italy is one of the largest trading partners of Bangladesh and more than 200,000 Bangladeshis live there.
Foreign Ministry officials here said Italy was very important for Bangladesh as the Embassy of Bangladesh in Rome acts as a Permanent Representation of Bangladesh to the three Rome based UN agencies, namely, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP). Bangladesh is actively involved in the activities of these UN Agencies.
As the remittance from Italy is growing at a faster rate, the government has taken initiatives to motivate expatriate community in Italy to use the formal channels of banks/Exchange Companies to remit foreign exchange to Bangladesh.
During the visit, the Prime Minister is expected to inaugurate the newly constructed Chancery building of Bangladesh Embassy.