A Free trade agreement with China, Bangladesh's largest partner in international trade, will aid to tackle the challenges after LDC graduation of Bangladesh. Besides, this agreement will reduce the huge trade deficit with the country. FBCCI President Mr. Md. Jasim Uddin remarked this statement at the China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Co-operation Forum 2021 and the Inauguration Ceremony of 7th Council of Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB) on Tuesday morning.
Speaking on the occasion at the Virtual Platform, Md. Jasim Uddin said Bangladesh's imports from China in the 2019-20 fiscal year were $11.49 billion, while the country exported only $0.60 billion. The Dhaka-Beijing Free Trade Agreement is needed to reduce this huge trade gap. Informing about the Chinese investment of $1.02 billion in Bangladesh as of the year 2020, the FBCCI chief said, the FTA will boost up the confidence of Chinese entrepreneurs in investment and trade in Bangladesh. To improve the investment climate, he highlighted a number of incentives provided by the government of Bangladesh, including tax holidays, reduced income tax for 5 to 10 years, tax exemption for on export income tax, reduced import duty on capital machineries and raw material imports. The establishment of 100 specialized economic zones is underway, which has made Bangladesh has become one of the most attractive investment destinations for global entrepreneurs in this region, he cited.
Md. Jasim Uddin called for undertaking research projects to find opportunities for investment and trade expansion in Bangladesh. The FBCCI boss called on Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in industries such as skills development, knowledge and technology exchange, power and energy, transport, leather, plastics, information and communication technology, agriculture and biotechnology. Praising China's Belt and Road project, Md. Jasim Uddin said, "This initiative has brought important opportunities for Bangladesh to become a developed country by 2041."
Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Hon’ble Prime Minister was present as the Chief Guest on the occasion. Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jimming was the special guest. Mr. Md. Sirajul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Maj. Gen. Md. Nazrul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and Mr. Md. Sheikh Yusuf Harun, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority also spoke at the occasion.
Among others, Rizwan Rahman, President of DCCI, Gazi Golam Mortuza, President of Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, K. Changliang, President of CEAB, Lin Weiqiang, Honorary Life President of the organization and other representatives spoke.