The Business-to-Business (B2B) digital marketplace can play a crucial role in developing the cross-border connectivity among Commonwealth countries, said experts on Monday.
They recommended resolving tariff and non-tariff barriers among the member countries to cash in on the B2B marketplace.
Trade with the help of technologies will also be helpful to accelerate the private sector's recovery, the speakers said at a B2B discussion styled "High-level Public-Private Virtual Dialogue on a Digital and Green Business Recovery".
The event was jointly organised by the Government of Bangladesh and the Commonwealth.
While addressing the event virtually, Graham Stuart, export minister of the United Kingdom, said it is necessary to digitalise the supply chain in the Commonwealth region as its market is expected to reach $2 trillion by 2030.
"The Covid pandemic has opened up an opportunity for going for a free, fair and protective trade," he added.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh has made significant progress in digitalisation. During the pandemic, E-commerce has witnessed a rapid growth with mobile banking reaching all over the country.
"I believe that we will be able to survive in the digital marketplace coping with all challenges," the minister added.
Salman F Rahman, adviser to the prime minister for private sector industry and investment, said Bangladesh government is focusing on developing 100 economic zones to draw foreign investment. Besides, 33 high-tech parks are going to be established.
"Bangladesh has enjoyed continuous growth over the last seven years, despite the pandemic we saw a 5.2 % growth riding on digital connectivity. When every country saw a drop," Salman F Rahman added.
He also mentioned that digital banking has witnessed high growth over the last five years.
The government is focusing on connecting rural areas with a broadband network, he added.
Soraya Hakuziyaremye, minister of trade and industry of the Republic of Rwanda, said his government has focused digital at this time of the pandemic in terms of education, health service and business.
Citing Rwanda's success in digitalisation, Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said Commonwealth countries might build a digital technology hub to share technological knowledge and ideas among the member countries.
Mentioning Bangladesh's investment in green energy, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said Bangladesh is leading the way in renewable energy through the solar home system.
The country's apparel sector also obtained 24 LEED Platinum certified green factories. Of them, six are amongst the top 10 in the world. Some 500 factories are in the pipeline to get the US green building council certificates, he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's comprehensive financial stimulus package of $12.1 billion absorbed Covid-19 shocks this year, he added.