Bangladesh may take initiative of signing FTA with South Korea following LDC graduation: Ambassador Lee Jang-Keun

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Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Rizwan Rahman today (09 September 2021) said showcasing Korean success stories in Bangladesh to lure investors. The DCCI president said this while meeting with Ambassador of South Korea to Bangladesh Lee Jang-Keun at DCCI in the city, said a press release.

Welcoming the South Korean Ambassador to DCCI, Rizwan Rahman said there is a steady increase in bilateral trade between the two countries, which currently stands at approximately US$ 1.6 billion. Of the total bilateral trade, he said, Bangladesh’s export to the Republic Korea recorded only $398.66 million in FY2020-21.

Cumulative stock of FDI from South Korea to Bangladesh reached $1030.67 million, he mentioned. He also invited Korean investors to invest in Leather and Footwear, Shipbuilding, Pharmaceuticals, Backward Linkage of RMG, Automotive and Infrastructure, Agro processing, Power sector, Electronics sectors. He requested the envoy to relocate Korean sunset industries to Bangladesh. Rizwan also said that DCCI and the South Korean Embassy can work together for improving business climate for signing a bilateral FTA.

He lastly invited South Korean entrepreneurs to join the B2Bs under “Bangladesh Trade and Investment Summit” to be held from 26th of October jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and DCCI. Lee Jang-Keun said that the trade relation between Bangladesh and Korea is very close. South Korea is the 5th largest source of FDI for Bangladesh and most of its investments are from the manufacturing sector, he added. He said 93 percent of Bangladeshi products get duty and quota-free market access in South Korea.

Regarding FTA, he said that South Korea already has FTAs with about 70 countries including China, ASEAN and Europe. In response to the comments of DCCI President, he said after the LDC graduation, Bangladesh may take an initiative of signing FTA with South Korea. However, there is a huge potential for South Korean investors in the pharmaceutical and ICT sector here in Bangladesh, he said.

For more export competitiveness, he suggested improving product diversification. He also termed business to business contact, exchange of both ways delegations and chamber to chamber interaction very important to increase bilateral trade as well as narrowing the trade gap. DCCI Senior Vice President NKA Mobin and Vice President Monowar Hossain were also present during the meeting.

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