Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has called upon Bangladesh Ambassadors in Saudi Arab, Kuwait and Uzbekistan to play a proactive role in exploiting the post-Covid 19 export opportunities being created in those countries.
“The overseas Bangladesh Embassies have to work on how to cash in on the scope of export after the Covid-19 crisis is over across the globe,” the minister said as he talked to the envoys of these countries at his residence on Sunday.The diplomats have to contribute to enhancing the country’s exports by coming out of their regular activities, he added.
“A new window of opportunity in global trade has opened up before Bangladesh in the wake of the new reality created by Covid-19. We’ve to efficiently grab that opportunity,” he pointed out.
Tipu Munshi said Saudi Arab, Kuwait and Uzbekistan can be lucrative export destinations for Bangladesh after the crisis as there is a demand for Bangladeshi products in those “friendly “countries.
He spoke to Bangladesh Ambassador in Ryadh Mohammad Jabed Parwary, the Ambassador in Kuwait Major Gen Ashikuzzaman and the Ambassador in Uzbekistan Mohammad Jahangir Alam.
He told the diplomats that the trade opportunities should be leveraged maintaining good relations with the business people of the countries concerned.
The commerce minister said Bangladesh has made a turnaround in exports. It shipped $23.06m more goods and services in July compared to that one year ago.A new scope of foreign investment has been created while the construction of special economic zones is progressing well in pursuance of the directive by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, added the minister.
“The Bangladesh government has come up with lucrative offers to woo both local and foreign investments which should be presented before foreign investors,” the minister told the diplomats.
Russia is a big market for Bangladesh and the government is working on how to increase market penetration there, he said, adding that Uzbekistan can play a very important role to this end.
Moreover, Uzbekistan is also keen on enhancing trade ties with Bangladesh and both countries are now working on removing hurdles to bilateral trade.
Tipu said Bangladesh exported goods worth $262.87 million to Saudi Arab last year.
The country’s exports to Kuwait totaled $23.52 million in the last fiscal year against $382.12 million imports during July-May period.
Last fiscal’s export to Uzbekistan was $19.16 million. Bangladesh imported $68m worth goods in 2018-19 fiscal year.
Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin, Additional Secretary (export) Md Obaidul Azam, Additional Secretary (FTA) Sharifa Khan were present at the meeting.