Bangladesh has bright chance to expand trade with West Africa: Experts

Published : 15 Sep 2023 07:40 PM

Experts at a seminar on Thursday observed that Bangladesh has huge opportunities to expand trade and investment collaboration with West Africa (TOGO).

They made the observation at the seminar on “Roadshow on Business Opportunities in Togo (West Africa)” at a hotel in the city.

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Arise, a renowned developer and operator of the world-class industrial ecosystems in Africa, organised the event at the sideline of the ‘Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum-2023’. 

This event aims to provide insights into the untapped business opportunities in West Africa, with a particular focus on Togo.

Togolese Republic Investment Promotion Minister Rose Kayi Mivedor, Advisor to the Ministry of Investment Promotion of the Togolese Republic Rodrigue AKUE-ATSA, EPB Vice President AHM Ahsan and EPB Director General Mahbubur Rahman, among others, spoke on the occasion.

EPB Director (Fair and Display) Abu Mukhles Alamgir Hossain moderated the road show.

Rose Kayi Mivedor said as an active member of the Commonwealth, TOGO is firmly committed to strengthening these ties and creating an environment conducive to investment. “We have taken important steps to achieve this goal, including the development and implementation of our Government Roadmap-3025, under the great leadership of the Head of the States,” she added.

She informed that the textile sector offers exceptional opportunities, in particular the valenzation of TOGO's cotton production and the creation of added value in this industry.

She said Togo's geographical position, unique in West Africa, with first-rate transport infrastructures such as Lome airport and the autonomous port of Lome, facilitates the expert of production to global markets and represents an unrivalled opportunity for business.

“Our private sector in the textile industry is dynamic and open to collaboration. We hope that this forum will strengthen our partnerships and stimulate economic exchanges between our two nations,” she added.

AHM Ahsan said Togo, situated in West Africa, is home to approximately 8.7 million people. 

“Its economy is predominantly agrarian, with a significant 65 percent of its workforce engaged in agriculture. These demographic insights underscore the vital role of Togo's agricultural sector in its economy,” he added.

He said Bangladesh, on the other hand, has its own unique strengths, including a robust and diversified industrial base, a thriving textile and apparel industry, and a rapidly growing economy. “It is our sincere belief that by fostering stronger trade relations between Bangladesh and Togo, we can leverage our respective strengths to the benefit of both nations,” he added.

He mentioned that Togo's strategic location in West Africa makes it an ideal gateway to not only the West African market but also to the broader African continent. 

“We believe that through collaboration and partnership, we can explore new avenues for trade, investment, and economic growth,” he added.

He said today's roadshow is a significant step toward realizing these opportunities. 

“We encourage all prospective investors and businesses from both Bangladesh and Togo to engage in fruitful discussions, explore potential partnerships, and seize the vast potential that exists between our two nations,” he added.

Mahbubur Rahman said, “Through this roadshow, we have embarked on a journey of exploration and partnership between Togo and Bangladesh.”

“Together, we can unlock exciting business opportunities that will benefit our nations and contribute to the growth of our economies,” he added.

Mentioning that TOGO is situated at the center of Africa Continent, Rodrigue AKUE-ATSA said Bangladesh's business community can use TOGO for exporting their products to many African countries by taking the advantage of the geographical location. 

In a presentation, ARISE GTM Strategy Heena Saboo laid emphasis on expanding trade and economic cooperation between Bangladesh and TOGO as there have lots of opportunities for Bangladesh’s business community to explore new avenue in TOGO.