The Commerce Minister, Tipu Munshi, opines that Bangladesh, currently setting up 100 special economic zones nationwide to further expand investment facilities, has now become an attractive draw for foreign investors.
Many countries are now lured to invest here by special investment facilities being offered by the Bangladesh government, he said.
The Commerce Minister made these remarks during a courtesy visit by the Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mustafa Osman Turan, to his secretariat office in the capital on Monday, said a press statement.
"Bangladesh and Turkey have a longstanding, friendly bilateral relationship, along with healthy trade ties. Even though the trade volume between the two countries is not massive, Turkey is still an important export destination for Bangladesh," the minister said.
"Turkey is a key importer of Bangladeshi jute goods as evidenced by the fact that we exported jute goods worth over $200 million to Turkey in the last fiscal year," Tipu Munshi continued.
The Minister also pointed out some existing trade barriers between the two countries, including high tariffs on Bangladeshi RMG products in Turkey.
The trade volume between the two countries could be expanded if these issues are mitigated, the Minister opined.
According to the press statement, Bangladesh exported products worth $453.46 million to Turkey during the last fiscal year, while it imported goods worth $233.5 from Turkey.
Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh will officially graduate from a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a developing nation in 2024. Taking this into consideration, the country is set to sign preferential trade agreements (PTA) with some countries to mitigate trade issues.
"There is a joint economic commission between Bangladesh and Turkey, which also can play a role to strengthen trade relations between the two countries," the Commerce Minister said, adding that RMG, drug, and ICT sectors in Bangladesh could potentially be lucrative investment opportunities for Turkey.
During the meeting, the Turkish Ambassador said that his country is keen to further upgrade investment and trade relations with Bangladesh.
"Turkey is the number one importer of Bangladeshi jute goods," he said, adding that his country is keen to work to strengthen trade relations with Bangladesh.
"Turkey is also keen to launch joint-venture investment with Bangladeshi businesses."
He also committed to launch talks with Bangladesh to remove anti-dumping duties and reduce tariffs on Bangladeshi RMG goods in Turkey.
Other senior officials of the Commerce Ministry were in attendance.