Meeting with British High Commissioner

Over 94% of export from Bangladesh to UK concentrated on ready-made garments (RMG) products (USD 5.03 billion). Other than RMG products, few more items are also being exported to the UK, but their volume is not up to the expected level, said Ashraf Ahmed, President, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) at a bilateral meeting with the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Sarah Cooke.

The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Sarah Cooke paid a courtesy visit to DCCI on June 2, 2024 at DCCI Gulshan Centre. Vice President, DCCI Md. Junaed Ibna Ali and Members of the Board of Directors were also present at that time.

Welcoming the British High Commissioner to DCCI, the Chamber’s President Ashraf Ahmed said that the total bilateral trade between Bangladesh and UK reached USD 5.73 billion in FY2023. UK is the 3rd largest export destination and 26th largest import source of Bangladesh. In FY2022-23, export from Bangladesh to UK was USD 5.31 billion and total import from UK was USD 415.32 million. UK is the second largest foreign investment source for Bangladesh followed by USA with USD 3.04 billion FDI stock. The potential of economic partnership between the UK and Bangladesh is very bright especially in the fields of finance, healthcare, Fin-tech, BPO, BPS, tourism, and education sectors. Moreover, UK can also transfer technical know-how, innovation and skills in ICT, Architecture, Healthcare sectors through joint venture partnership. Both Bangladesh and UK need to initiate and expand discussions for framing agreements at G2G level to boost bilateral trade and investment during the post LDC era. Bilateral discussions need to reflect new priorities arising from Bangladesh’s economic transition, he said. Investments from the UK into Bangladesh needs new focus as does private sector to private sector connectivity.

Sarah Cooke, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh said Bangladesh has done a lot of changes in the last decade and its economy also advanced a lot. She also said that the UK is interested to work with Bangladesh regarding economic progress and climate change issues. She again said that UK will extend its possible support to Bangladesh in successful graduation from the LDC to middle income country status. But after the LDC graduation, to keep export market safe, Bangladesh needs to diversify its exportable items other than RMG products. She hoped that the both way trade and export between UK and Bangladesh will accelerate in the future. Besides, the tax-GDP ratio of Bangladesh should be increased, she said. Agriculture, Sea Food (shrimp), leather goods, light engineering especially bicycle and RMG have huge potential for Bangladeshi exporters in the UK market, she added. She also stressed on producing quality products having international standard to grab international market. In order to attract more FDI, she suggested that Bangladesh needs to work more on the policy reforms, sustainable and predictable policy regime, intellectual property right (IPR), alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and repatriation of profit related issues. Prioritizing strong trade and investment relation further, she later invited Bangladeshi business delegations to UK to enhance better connectivity.

Published on: 2024-06-02

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