Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Tipu Munshi have urged the Brazilian business delegation to invest in Bangladesh as the country offers 100 special economic zones with congenital environment.
He was speaking at a panel discussion titled “Brazil-Bangladesh Perspective and Institutional Mission” at the Brazil-Bangladesh Trade Conference in the capital on Thursday.
Tipu Munshi said that Bangladesh has a population of 170 million, of which 40 per cent are high end consumers. He said India, China and Bangladesh together have a size of 300 crore people. Having invested in Bangladesh, Brazilian entrepreneurs can tap a sizeable market in the region.
Tipu Munshi said: “We have to work together to improve the businesses between two countries.”
“If we work together, the trade relations between the countries will be win-win for all,” he remarked, adding that Brazil has also scope of becoming a partner in the agriculture sector of Bangladesh.
FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said “The two countries have potential in trade in the sectors like agriculture, livestock, investment, disaster management and many more,” he added.
The trade volume between two countries was $2.25 billion import from Brazil and $109.2 million export to Brazil in FY22.
“Bangladesh is desperately seeking to diversify both export and import destinations. Brazil can be a potential country for this,” he added.
In this regard, more B2B talks, visits, and discussion are must, he went on.
“I think the two governments are supportive and now the businesses have to unleash their potential,” he added.
BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon said that raw cotton is the main importing raw material for the main manufacturing sector of the country.
Last year, Bangladesh imported 8.5 million bales of cotton, where 1.3 million bales or 15% from Brazil, he said adding there is a huge potential.
Demanding removal of high tariff, BGMEA Vice-President Shahidullah Azim said both Bangladesh and Brazil should work out a plan to reduce the exiting 30-35 per cent on export of Bangladeshi goods in a bid to boost export to the Latin American market.
He said Bangladesh enjoy zero tariff on RMG export in Chilean market.
Bangladesh is the second largest cotton importer and second largest RMG exporter. As a result, Brazil can be a good partner for the cotton exports to Bangladesh.
Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Paulo Fernandos Dias Feres said that both Brazil and Bangladesh can take advantage by utilizing the trade potentials.
In Bangladesh, something new is happening everyday in the business atmosphere. The Brazilian businesses are also interested in this, he went on to say.
He also said that both parties should work to find bilateral trade potential.
“This is the mission of the embassy, mission of the Brazilian government, and the mission of the Brazilian business people,” Feres also said.
He also said that in the changing world environment, there are a lot of challenges, but also opportunities.
“We have to unleash the opportunity by overcoming the challenges,” he added.
Brazil and Bangladesh both can work for bilateral diversified trade, he added.
However, Bangladesh imports cotton from Brazil duty free but faces a duty of 30%-35% when exporting RMG items to the South American country.
These barriers should be resolved by the governments of the two countries.
Marcelo Duarte Monteiro of ABRAPA (Brazilian Cotton Growers Association) said that there is huge potential in the bilateral trade between Brazil and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is the top client of Brazil and till May of 2023, Bangladesh is the second largest cotton importer from Brazil worth $382.8 million after China.
Ambassador Alex Giacomelli of the Foreign Ministry of Brazil, Md Ayub Ali, President of Bangladesh Cotton Association along with diplomatic and business persons of both countries also spoke at the event.