Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) with Australia will boost trade with the country and fuel private sector investment.
The commerce minister made the statement while addressing the TIFA signing ceremony between Bangladesh and Australia which was held virtually on Wednesday.
Munshi and Australia's Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan signed the agreement on behalf of their respective countries.
During the ceremony, Tipu Munshi said that Bangladesh's trade and economic relations with Australia are long-standing.
In the 2018-2019 financial year, Bangladesh exported goods worth 804.63 million USD to Australia, while importing goods worth 596.70 million USD.
Tipu Munshi said, "Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, trade has not been as good as expected in the last two years. Both countries have huge potential for trade and investment growth. The government of Bangladesh will provide necessary assistance to traders from both ends to facilitate business trips and in turn, increase trade and investment.
"Australia has been providing duty-free and quota-free trade facilities to Bangladesh since 2003, for which Bangladesh is grateful. We hope that Australia will continue to provide trade facilities to Bangladesh even after LDC graduation in 2026 and will support the LDC Group's proposal in the WTO," added Tipu Munshi.
Tipu Munshi also requested Australia, as a vaccine producing country, to provide the Covid-19 vaccine as a grant to Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds.
Referring to Bangladesh's close friendly relations with Australia, Dan Tehan said "The signing of the TIFA would boost investment and trade between the two countries. Apart from readymade garments in Bangladesh, there are several potential sectors including ICT, light engineering, plastics and education for Australia to invest in."