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Bangladesh, UK agree to boost trade

Published : 19 Feb 2023 10:11 PM | Updated : 20 Feb 2023 01:07 PM

Bangladesh and the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday agree to enhance the bilateral trade partnership to increase mutual prosperity ahead of and after Bangladesh's graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

The decision was taken at the second Bangladesh-UK Trade and Investment Dialogue held in the capital.

The government of Bangladesh was represented by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh while British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson and His Majesty's Trade Commissioner for South Asia Alan Gemmell led the UK side. 

"The historic relationship between the UK and Bangladesh is based on mutual interest and common values. Bangladesh is very keen to take this relationship to a new height through enhanced trade and economic cooperation," said the commerce secretary. 

The UK emphasised the importance of maintaining a level-playing field for foreign companies interested in investing and operating in Bangladesh. 

The UK invited Bangladesh to engage with the UK private sector to pursue a commercial dispute resolution system to unlock the full potential of Foreign Direct Investment into Bangladesh.

"A conducive business climate and removal of market access barriers will benefit both countries and underline the great opportunities for UK businesses," His Majesty's Trade Commissioner for South Asia said. 

He added: "The UK and Bangladesh relationship is underpinned by the potential of our trade and investment relationship that will help both of our economies to grow." 

The UK recognised Bangladesh's economic growth and resilience, despite the widespread impact of the global pandemic and ongoing global economic crisis. 

Bangladesh welcomed the UK's generous Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) and acknowledged its role in integrating Bangladesh into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment opportunities. 

The UK reflected commitments under DCTS to international conventions on labour standards and human rights, anti-corruption, climate change and the environment. 

The UK and Bangladesh discussed cooperation in areas such as LDC graduation, investment cooperation, pharmaceuticals, ease of doing business, financial sector development, higher education provision, taxation issues and intellectual property protection.

The UK encouraged Bangladesh to explore investment opportunities for the UK services sector including financial and professional services. 

Bangladesh reiterated the importance of the Ready-Made Garments sector to both the UK and Bangladesh. 

The UK outlined the private sector led aerospace offer to Bangladesh. Both countries recognised the importance of high-quality education and agreed to further deepen and widen the scope of collaboration in the area of higher education for mutual benefit.

The UK stressed the importance of Bangladesh putting in place economic policies and systems to achieve its ambition of rapid, sustainable and green economic development; and pledged its ongoing cooperation.

Both countries agreed to convene the Dialogue annually and its Joint Working Group (JWG) regularly. 

The JWG would cover a broad range of trade and investment issues, including mutual barriers to market access and trade, with an agenda agreed between the UK and Bangladesh in advance. 

Both countries underscored the importance of the Dialogue and JWG as a step towards achieving an enhanced and stronger relationship. 

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