The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) discussed trade and investment opportunities on Monday.
The trade bodies talked at the online conference titled "Bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the ongoing global pandemic and beyond."
FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Vice President Siddiqur Rahman, DCCI President Nigel Ward and CEO Palesa Phili joined the programme.
They talked about collaboration to boost both economies in the post-pandemic world, reads a statement.
The FBCCI president cited that the bilateral trade between South Africa and Bangladesh stood at $24 million in the fiscal year 2019-20.
And he highlighted the trade growth the two bodies can pursue together to accelerate progress in the pharmaceutical sector, ICT, fast-moving consumer goods, home appliances, banking, and shipping.
"As we navigate the next normal, we are confident in our economy as it is demonstrating a strong recovery trend in the gross domestic product, remittance and foreign exchange reserve growth," Fahim said.
The FBCCI could prepare a strong roadmap to recovery, for the next three years, in a broad spectrum of socio-economic agenda through its proactive advocacies and consultations with national and international stakeholders, he added.
Fahim also said that compared to other compliant markets and transitioning economies, Bangladesh's ROI makes it an attractive destination with IP protection in place for technology transfer.
South African investors can tap into the competitive edge of Bangladesh's production, domestic consumer base, regional market access, duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access to India, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), Fahim said.
He also showed interest in exploring value chain initiatives through joint ventures in mining, electronics, automobile and motorbike industry component manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, blue economy, service cooperation in shipping, tourism, higher education, and finance.
The DCCI president said, "We have the capacity and the willingness to connect our members to the members of the FBCCI. I look forward to our two organisations reigniting our memorandum of agreement (MOA) to reflect a few but concrete and achievable projects that will make a real and mutual difference for our members."
The DCCI CEO said making international business easier for its members is one of the core mandates of the chamber. "We are glad to see the opportunities that exist for our members in Bangladesh to facilitate some concrete business matchmaking going forward."
"It will be important for the technical trade and investment teams from the DCCI and FBCCI to collaborate and rebuild a more robust and practical agreement between us," Palesa Phili said.
"As we move ahead in recovering our economy, we look forward to closely work with our South-African counterpart and the DCCI in strengthening our economic ties," the FBCCI vice-president said.