Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday requested South Korea to continue duty-free export facility for Bangladesh to its market even after Bangladesh becomes a developing country and hoped for an increased South Korean investment in Bangladesh.
The minister made the request at a meeting with South Korean Ambassador in Dhaka Lee Jang-Keun at the secretariat.
Mentioning that South Korea offers duty-free trade benefits to developing countries, Minister Tipu said if they continue to offer the same facility to Bangladesh even after the country graduates to the status of a developing country in 2026, Bangladesh's export earnings will increase. This will reduce the trade gap between the two countries, he added.
South Korea has a significant amount of investment in Bangladesh and there are still scopes for further investment opportunities, the commerce minister continued.
South Korea is working to increase investment in Bangladesh, Ambassador Lee Jang-Keun said, adding that South Korea is implementing the KEPZ in Chattogram and there is a huge investment opportunity here.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Bangladesh exported goods worth about $370 million to South Korea while imported goods worth some $1,315 million from the country.
Bhutan wants to increase stone exports
In a separate meeting with the commerce minister on Wednesday, Bhutanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Rinchen Kuentsyl expressed his country's interest in exporting stones according to the demand of Bangladesh.
The ambassador said the capacity and facilities of Bangladesh's Burimari, Banglabandha, Sonahat, and Akhaura land ports need to be enhanced to boost bilateral trade. He also expressed interest in importing chemical fertilizers from Bangladesh.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh exported goods worth $7.56 million to Bhutan in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and imported goods worth $49.90 million.
Dhaka hopes that the signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) will increase trade between the two countries in the future.