Bangladesh-Thai trade will be $2bn by 2021: Tofail
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed today said Bangladesh and Thailand would register a volume of $ 2 billion in two-way trade by 2021.
“Two-way trade would be $ 2 billion by 2021 as both Bangladesh and Thailand are working jointly to boost up the bilateral ties,” said the minister while talking to a Thai delegation, led by Investment and Economic Reforms Affairs Minister Kobsak Pootrakool at his ministry office.
Referring to Bangladesh’s attaining the eligibility to graduate from the least developed country, he said Bangladesh has now concentrated on signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with many other countries to strengthen bilateral trade.
“FTAs with Sri Lanka and Cambodia are likely by this year while discussion is going on with other countries,” revealed the commerce minister.
He requested Thailand to sign an FTA with Bangladesh to boost the bilateral trade.
Mentioning that Thailand is offering duty-free access (DFA) to many Bangladeshi items, Tofail Ahmed urged the country to provide DFA to few more items like RMG, jute-products, leather-goods etc which are the main items in Bangladesh’s export basket.
Inviting the Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh, the commerce minister said the government will provide a special economic zone along with all type of business facilities. “Bangladesh has protected the foreign investor’s investment by law and they (foreigners) could bring back their investment with profit any time.”
The two-way trade of Bangladesh and Thailand is now over $ 800 million, which is in favor of Thailand, as the country’s export amount stood at $ 781 million against the import of only $ 48.57 million.
The Thai Investment and Economic Reforms Affairs Minister said there is potentiality and possibility everywhere in Bangladesh to do business.
“Thailand can work jointly with Bangladesh in its energy, infrastructure, manufacture, automobile, health, agriculture sectors,” he added.
Lauding Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector, Kobsak Pootrakool said: “Pharmaceutical sector of the country is very strong, and Bangladesh and Thailand can collaborate in medical sector in future.”
Referring to Bangladesh’s 160 million population and Thailand’s 60 million, he said: “Bangladesh and Thailand can establish alternative market alongside China and India.”
Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem, the Thai Ambassador in Dhaka, members of the Thai delegation and officials concerned were present.