Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said today that the time has come to take advantage of the post-Covid-19 world trade opportunities.
"We have to work together to take advantage of this opportunity. There will be many things in a changing and competitive world trade," said the minister at a virtual workshop titled "Covid-19 and Bangladesh economy".
The minister said, "The world's trade and commerce has suffered greatly due to the Covid-19. Bangladesh is no exception. Bangladesh's economy was moving fast on a solid foundation. Bangladesh achieved independence through a war. After the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will turn around again, we will be able to do that."
"A trade war is going on between China and the United States. Japan has announced the withdrawal of investment from China. It is time to take a place in world trade with one's own abilities and qualifications. Everyone should come forward quickly without wasting time," he added.
Tipu Munshi said a task force has been formed under the leadership of the secretary of Ministry of Commerce to take and implement quick decisions in the Covid-19 situation and beyond. The task force is working with utmost importance.
The minister informed that Bangladesh will sign the first free-trade agreement (FTA) with Bhutan in the next month. After that, the FTA will be signed with several countries in phases. Negotiations with several countries including Indonesia have come a long way.
"We should not rely only on the RMG sector in the export market. Bangladesh has huge potential for export of Information Technology products, medicine, leather goods, jute products, light engineering products, ceramic and electrical equipment," he further said.
Economic Reporters' Forum and Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) jointly organised the workshop.