Monday, 18 October, 2021
E-paper

Wealthier nations should provide more trade access to poorer countries: Shahriar

Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has called on wealthier nations to provide more trade access to poorer countries so as to stimulate their economic growth.

He also highlighted the steps taken by the Bangladesh government to ensure full compliance with international labour laws, particularly in the readymade garment industry, during his meeting with Mexican Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade Luz Maria de la Mora Sanchez in Mexico City Tuesday.

The two Ministers, in fact, discussed ways to bolster bilateral trade and investment ties at the meeting.

Shahriar told the Mexican Minister that "setting bilateral trade targets may be aspirational but useful". He has already set a target of US one billion dollars during an interaction with the business community of the two countries.

On her part, the Mexican Minister underscored the importance of moving forward, "as both countries have many people who are left behind".

The two Ministers agreed on maintaining contact for mutual interest, including through the Bangladesh Embassy in Mexico City, a government release said.

Earlier on Tuesday, State Minister Shahriar witnessed the signing of a pact between FBCCI and COMCE -- the apex business bodies of two countries -- during a breakfast meet with Mexican businessmen, organised by the Bangladesh Embassy. 

After the MoU signing session, the State Minister thanked COMCE and the Bangladesh Embassy for arranging this important event during Mexico’s 200th year of Independence and Bangladesh’s 50th year of Independence, with the view to elevate the bilateral business corridor. 

"Since coming to power in 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is relentlessly working to make a prosperous Bangladesh. Bangladesh has emerged as a land of opportunities and potentials, and is emerging as an economic powerhouse in Asia," he said.

He also claimed that during the last one decade, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in all socio-economic sectors like poverty alleviation, nutrition, maternal and child health, primary education, women empowerment and food security.

"The country is in the process of building a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, where information and communication technology (ICT) is playing an ever-increasing role in all walks of life. 
The strength of Bangladesh’s economy, which has shown great resilience even in the face of pandemic, is now globally recognised," he said.

Shahriar observed that there is ample potential in expanding the trade relations between the two countries, "which still remains moderate". He hoped that the MoU will work as a milestone to expand business relations between two countries.  

The MoU signing ceremony was followed by a private business meeting between Bangladeshi and Mexican businessmen.

During the meeting, Bangladesh business bodies proposed to establish the Bangladesh-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. The Mexican business bodies welcomed the proposal.

In response to the invitation of the Bangladeshi business bodies, Mexican representatives expressed their willingness to visit Bangladesh in November and explore business opportunities. 

At the ministerial meeting, both th Ministers also agreed that "this is important to know each other more to explore possibilities of augmenting bilateral economic relations between the two countries".

The Bangladeshi State Minister also briefed the Mexican Minister about the commendable progress Bangladesh is making in the socio-economic arena. 

Sanchez opined that both countries may learn from each other, including in areas like supporting SMEs, agriculture, food security etc. She also underscored that every country has its own potentials. 

She appreciated the fact that Bangladesh has reached out to the Mexican business community and expressed satisfaction about the signing of the MoU between FBCCI and Mexican COMCE.

Shahriar Alam also addressed a press conference, where he elaborated on Bangladesh’s leadership role in the climate change related multilateral process and also on the present situation related to Rohingya crisis.