Trade bodies from Bangladesh, S Africa keen to boost ties

Staff Correspondent

30 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has the opportunity to boost bilateral trade with South Africa in the pharmaceutical and technology sector in the post-pandemic period as two countries secured bilateral trade worth $24 million in FY 20.

This information was revealed at a virtual conference on bilateral trade hosted by Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industries (Durban CCI).

Business leaders discussed two-way investments and access to markets between Bangladesh and South Africa and collaboration to boost the both economies in the post-pandemic future, said an FBCCI handout on Tuesday.

Businesses also emphasized first-mover consumer goods and home appliance and shipping to complement bilateral trade growth.

Marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, FBCCI has been hosting bilateral talks with 129 global strategic partners across 51 countries to help boost the country’s economy.

FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and Vice President Siddiqur Rahman, Durban CCI President Nigel Ward and Chief Executive Palesa Phili from joined the virtual event, among others.

Highlighting FBCCI’s advocacies in its continuous engagements in complement to the government’s response, FBCCI chief Sheikh Fazle Fahim said Bangladesh’s economy is demonstrating strong recovery trend with strong GDP growth and steady remittance inflow.

“Bangladesh is an attractive investment destination with intellectual property protection in place for technology transfer. South African investors can tap into Bangladesh’s production competitive edge, domestic consumer base, regional market access that is Duty-Free Quota Free (DFQF) to India, China, EU, Canada, Australia and APTA,” Fahim added.

He also urged the South African businesses to utilise facilities in the bilateral value chain through joint ventures in mining, electronics, automobile and motorbike industry component manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries and blue economy cooperation in addition to service cooperation in shipping, tourism, higher learning, and finance.

Durban CCI President Nigel Ward mentioned the trade body has the capacity and the willingness to increase member-to-member connection for developing concrete and achievable projects that will make a real and mutual difference for businesses.

Durban CCI chief executive Palesa Phili underscored the need for collaboration between the trade bodies of both countries to foster bilateral trade and cooperation.

FBCCI Vice President said Siddiqur Rahman said Bangladesh is moving fast toward a sustainable recovery from the corona crisis and they are keen to work with South African counterparts for mutual benefits.