DHAKA-Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed urged the Bangladeshis living in Hong Kong to play a role in boosting exports from Bangladesh.
"You have to play a role for increasing the country's exports. The government has been working along with the private sector to explore new markets for boosting the exports," Tofail said while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hong Kong (BCCI-HK).
Bangladesh community, most of whom are well-established businessmen, launched their first ever trade body in Hong Kong on Wednesday, said a media release here today.
Consul General of Bangladesh in Hong Kong Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood, BCCI-HK President Ikram Ahmed Khan, BCCI-HK General Secretary Mohammed Yousuf Ali, "Belt and Road Office" of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Commissioner Ms. Yvonne Y.P. Choi and Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong SAR Godfrey Leung King Kwok spoke on the occasion.
Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh achieved 7.11 percent economic growth in the last fiscal. Exports reached US$34 billion and foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 32 billion, he said, adding that Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in a short period of time in raising income and improving social indicators.
He said as per the World Bank report Bangladesh is now a 'lower middle-income country'. Bangladesh is on right track to fetch exports to the value of US$50 billion by 2021 when it would be turned into a 'middle-income country,' he added
"Bangladesh has been classified as a 'Next Eleven' emerging market and one of the 'frontier five' emerging economies in the world by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan," he added.
Tofail said Bangladesh is a market of 163 million consumers, abundant cheap skilled labor and inexpensive cost of transportation.
About the foreign investment climate in Bangladesh, Tofail said the present government under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina, has been able to put in place the right environment and attractive incentive packages and continuously striving to further improve upon the existing infrastructure and logistics.
In order to stimulate rapid economic growth, particularly through industrialization, the government adopted an 'Open Door Policy' to attract foreign investment, he said, adding that the government has started construction of 100 "Economic Zones (EZs)" in addition to the existing "Export Processing Zones (EPZ)".
Consul General of Bangladesh in Hong Kong Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood said that Bangladesh is marching ahead under the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh textile industry is the second-largest in the world, he said, adding that other key sectors including leather and leather products, Jute and Jute goods, agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, engineering products, small freighters and ocean-going tugboats, information technology, have also been growing rapidly.
The Consul General hoped that the BCCI-HK would be able to promote the ongoing trade relations among Bangladesh, Hong Kong and China. Trade and economic ties between Bangladesh and Hong Kong would entail tremendous economic benefits to both sides, he said and hoped that the BCCI-HK could play a pivotal role in this direction.
Godfrey Leung King Kwok, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong SAR, said that Bangladesh is Hong Kong's 33rd trading partner. He wished BCCI-HK a successful journey in the coming days.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)