Press Release

HC of Bangladesh wants to boost bilateral trade

High Commissioner of Bangladesh Rahul Alam Siddique has said that the both countries should take maximum steps to strengthen their relations in all economic sectors.  He was speaking at a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry and Honorary Consul General of Bangladesh Humayun Fareed also spoke on the occasion.

The High Commissioner said that intensive market research, frequent visits of trade delegations, exchange of socio-cultural programs and close contact between trade bodies of the two countries can lift the existing trade level between the two countries.

The High Commissioner said that jute and tea are the major item being exported to Pakistan. Both countries should indentified new areas for cooperation. He said that the exports of Bangladesh to China are being increased gradually. He said that at present all industries in Bangladesh are open and fully functional.

He said that Jute and tea are the major exports of Bangladesh. There is great demand of jute products because of ban on plastic and other materials. He said that major exporting countries for Bangladesh are China, European Union and USA. He said that China allowed special preferences to Bangladesh as many Chinese companies are doing business in Bangladesh. We support export industry by providing them subsidy on raw materials, tax/duty etc.

He said that due to Corona pandemic our growth was declining but now we are improving day by day through vaccination and it is available for every person. Moreover there is no restriction on getting visa business and family visas are available but the visa obtaining procedures are lengthy.

The High Commissioner lauded the role of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry in promoting trade and economic activities.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that after India, both Pakistan and Bangladesh happen to be major members of SAARC in terms of the size of their economies and it should be our prime objective to effectively utilize this platform.

He said that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) should play its role to enhance regional trade that is low as compare to the other economic blocks.

He said that Bangladesh is the 10th largest export destination of Pakistan whereas among the top importing countries for Pakistan. Although, the balance of two-way trade heavily favours Pakistan but at present the volume of mutual trade is still below the actual potential.

The LCCI President said that the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh was around 835 million dollars in 2019. Pakistan’s exports to Bangladesh are around 793 million dollars while our imports from Bangladesh are merely 42 million dollars.

“Pakistan is a major supplier of cotton fabrics, cement, yarn, leather, vacuum pumps and other textile items etc. to Bangladesh. On the other hand, the major imports from Bangladesh include Jute, unmanufactured Tobacco, Fasteners, Yarn of jute, Cotton waste, Tea and Hydrogen peroxide etc.

We are glad that after the telephonic conversation between Prime Ministers of both countries, the ice of stagnant relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh has started to melt”, he added. 

Mian Tariq Misbah said that there is a great potential for exploring mutual trade opportunities in sectors like pharmaceuticals, surgical goods, construction material, light engineering, food processing, and tourism etc. Since textile is a major sector in both the countries, there is a considerable room for Joint Ventures in it.

He said that recently, Pakistan has lifted all the restrictions on visas for Bangladeshi applicants. Direct flights between Dhaka and Karachi need to be restored in order to promote trade. Furthermore, a direct shipment facility from the Karachi to Chittagong ports also needs to be launched in order to re-establish maritime links. There is also a dire need to activate Joint Economic Commission of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan has a vast network of SMEs which are presently striving hard to survive during the current economic scenario that has been severely marred due to Coronavirus. In this context we would like to have more knowledge about the Bangladeshi model of microcredit which has produced excellent results.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that CPEC is a framework of broad regional connectivity. He said that CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the whole region. Bangladesh can also take advantage out of it by investing in the Special Economic Zones that are being developed under CPEC.

He that in order to establish productive commercial relations, there is a need to address all the issues including non-trade barriers.

“For this purpose, efforts need to be employed to facilitate frequent interaction between the business sectors of the two countries Business delegations composed of sector-specific participants or product-specific groups of entrepreneurs should be organized regularly by the leading chambers of commerce from both sides”, the LCCI President added.