Bangladesh has sought duty and quota free access of its products to Belarus to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi made the request to Belarusian Deputy Minister of Industry Dmitry Harintonchik, who is visiting Bangladesh on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country's Independence.
The minister said there was a huge trade deficit between the two nations. Bangladesh exported goods worth $4.56 million to Belarus against imports of $147.36 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Bangladesh has a good potential for exporting goods, like readymade garments, jute and jute-based products, tannery and tannery-products and pharmaceuticals. But exports to Belarus face duty-related complications.
Tipu Munshi also proposed forming a joint working group to find out possible investments and identify sectors for trade between the two nations.
He said work of 100 special economic zones were going on in full swing across the country, where Belarus could invest in power, ICT, and agricultural industries.
"We've been providing loans to farmers on soft terms alongside suggestions so the agricultural production is not hindered.
"The Bangladesh government is offering attractive opportunities for foreign investments. Belarus can take advantage of them. Besides, Bangladesh will benefit if Belarus provides technical support in the field of agriculture," Tipu Munshi said.
The Belarusian minister said Belarus was keen on increasing trade and investment with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is an important business partner of Belarus, he said. The Belarussian government is working to resolve the tariff issue. It is interested in investing in Bangladesh in the nuclear power sector, green transport supply and waste management sector. Belarus also wants to work in a joint venture to produce agro-based machinery and develop animal resources and agro-mechanics, Harintonchik added.