Turkey keen to boost trade ties with Bangladesh

Diplomatic Correspondent

14 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Turkey is eager to expand and strengthen trade ties with Bangladesh, including in textile and jute sectors.

This was stated by the Ambassador of Turkey in Dhaka Mustafa Osman Turan during his call on with Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi at his Bangladesh Secretariat office on Wednesday. 

Apart from the existing excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, the Minister and Ambassador discussed various bilateral issues and Bangladesh's massive economic progress.

The Jute and Textile minister told the Ambassador that Bangladesh believes Turkey is its good and old friend and hoped that Ankara would invest more in expanding trade in textiles and jute.  

Golam Dastagir said Bangladesh produces the best quality jute while diversified high-quality products are now manufactured from the natural fiber.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan along with Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Honorary Consul General of Turkey, Kenan Kalaycı, Commercial Counsellor of Turkish Embassy, İsmail Gündoğdu of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Dhaka Programmne Coordinator, Ms Gizem Aydin Erdem, Second Secretary and Press Counsellor paid a four-day visit to Chittagong on January 9-12.

The Turkish delegation led by Ambassador Turan called on Rear Admiral SM Abul Kalam Azad, Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority on January 10.

On the same day, the Ambassador met with Mahbubul Alam, President of Chittagong Chamber Of Commerce And Industry and its Board of Directors. Bilateral trade relations and investment opportunities were discussed. The delegation toured the newly built impressive World Trade Center building.

A press release of the embassy said Turkey will explore the opportunity to become a partner country at one of the next editions of Chattogram Trade Fair.

Also on January 10, the delegation visited Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology and Ambassador Turan met with Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Mohammad Rafiqul Alam and spoke to the faculty members on the various possibilities of academic cooperation with Turkish universities. On the second day, the Ambassador Mustafa visited AK Khan Penfabric Company Limited (AKPEN) Factory, observing first-hand an exemplary project driving economic development in Bangladesh. He also planted a tree in the factory garden symbolizing friendship and solidarity between Turkey and Bangladesh. Turkish delegation also visited COATS (BD) factory, where the yarns produced in AKPEN are dyed and shipped to ready-made garment factories across the country. COATS shows impressive commitment to Sustainable Development Goals and employs IoT technologies to increase productivity and inclusiveness.

Ambassador Turan, together with TİKA Dhaka Programme Coordinator İsmail Gündoğdu and other members of the delegation visited Shah-e Jamee Masjid, a heritage of the Mughal Empire, serving the Muslims of Chittagong since 1666.

Turkey’s late President Süleyman Demirel visited the mosque on March 26, 1997 and gifted chandeliers to be used inside the mosque. He was then visiting Bangladesh to attend the Silver Jubilee along with Yasser Arafat and Nelson Mandela.

Ambassador Turan held a productive meeting with Zahirul Alam Dubash, Chittagong Development Authority Chairman, exploring ways to improve cooperation between Turkey and Bangladesh in city planning and infrastructure building. Significant development projects are in the pipeline in the city which may attract investment from Turkey.  The delegation led by Ambassador Turan also visited Nazmiye Demirel Health Clinic, renovated by TİKA. Turan emphasized the importance of health services during COVID-19 and urged the Chittagong City Corporation to use the whole building for that purpose. TİKA will soon complete the refurbishment of the Health Clinic.

During their visit to AK Khan - UCEP Technical School and A.K. Khan & CRP Chittagong Center, Turkish delegation learned about ongoing projects in skills development and in rehabilitation of the disabled persons. Impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the staff, Turkish Embassy will explore ways to collaborate in education and health fields through these successful institutions as well.