Observing that there is huge potential for investment in the agro-processing industry in Bangladesh, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Sunday has called upon Spanish investors to invest in the sector.
He said the government is providing special facilities to foreign investors and formalities have been simplified for foreign investors.
The minister made the remarks during a views-exchange meeting with Spanish Ambassador to Dhaka Francisco de Asís Benitez Salas at his office in the Secretariat in the capital, says a press release.
Tipu Munshi said under the initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the construction of 100 special economic zones in different important places of the country is going on in full swing. Already different countries – including China, Korea, Japan, and India – have expressed interest in investing in those economic zones.
Observing that sufficient skilled manpower has made Bangladesh a lucrative place to invest, the minister said, "Spain is the fourth largest export market of Bangladesh. There are plenty of opportunities to increase trade with Spain, through an exchange of visits by trade delegations of both the countries."
"In 2024, Bangladesh will become a developing country from LDC. Bangladesh expects that the ongoing GSP facility from Spain would continue even then," he said.
Tipu Munshi said ready-made garments are the main export product of Bangladesh. About 45 lakh workers are working in this industry, most of them are women.
"Amending the Labour Law, the government has already ensured labour rights and a safe working environment. In addition, the government has taken special initiatives to export several other products," he continued.
He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given shelter to the Rohingyas in Bangladesh for humanitarian reasons. Spain is assisting Bangladesh in this issue and Bangladesh seeks sincere cooperation of Spain in repatriating Rohingyas.
Ambassador Benitez Salas assured that Spain will seriously consider the proposal of investing in Bangladesh's agro-processing sector.
He said Spain is a friend of Bangladesh and attaches great importance to Bangladesh in terms of trade. Spain is happy with the ongoing development and economic progress in Bangladesh.
"There is a lot of demand for Bangladeshi ready-made garments in Spain. In the future, Spain will import more ready-made garments from Bangladesh," he continued.
"Spain is happy that Bangladesh is graduating from LDC and we will continue to support Bangladesh even after it graduates," the ambassador added.
He said, "Several Spanish companies are contributing to the development of Bangladesh. Providing technical assistance, the companies are working jointly in several sectors including steel bridges and railways."
The ambassador also hoped that trade and investment will increase if businessmen from both the countries exchange visits.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Bangladesh exported goods worth $2,554.72 million to Spain while importing goods worth $180.18 million at the same time. The trade volume between the two countries was $2,737 million. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the volume of trade was less in the last fiscal year.
Joint Secretary (Exports) of Commerce Ministry Abdur Rahim was also present at the meeting.