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15 July, 2019 01:41:42 AM
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S Korean PM promises new heights for Seoul-Dhaka trade relation

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
S Korean PM promises new heights for Seoul-Dhaka trade relation
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon addresses at Korea-Bangladesh Business Forum under the theme ‘Promoting Business Ties Today: Bringing Mutual Prosperity Tomorrow’, jointly organised by Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at Hotel InterContinental in the capital yesterday. photo: courtesy

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon yesterday said the relation between Bangladesh and Korea will touch new heights through cooperation in various fields of business and trade.

“I am moved and impressed by the development Bangladesh has made. It has been possible due to the incredible will of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.

He delivered his keynote speech at the Korea-Bangladesh Business Forum, jointly organised by Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), at Hotel Intercontinental in the capital.

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi, industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim and KITA chairman and CEO Young Ju Kim spoke on the occasion. Advisor to the Prime Minister on private industry and investment, Salman F Rahman, and distinguished business leaders from Bangladesh and Korea were also present.

Lee Nak-yon said Bangladesh has huge potential for investment and that some of the Korean companies have already invested in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has an interest in public private partnership (PPP) and Koreans have signed agreements on various sectors on the basis of PPP, he added.

The South Korean prime minister said information and communication technology (ICT) is the core pillar of Bangladesh, which has established 10,000 educational centres where Korea is providing ICT training. Korea can assist Bangladesh in technological development, he added.

About Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ), Lee said: “KEPZ is a catalyst for other Korean companies to invest here in Bangladesh.”

He also mentioned several projects where Korean companies are working.  

Lee said he would urge Korean businessmen to boost ties between the two countries.

Tipu Munshi said Korea is an important development partner of Bangladesh and both the countries have collaboration in education, economy and culture. “I believe the Korean PM’s visit will open up new cooperation in all respects. Business cooperation will increase in the coming days,” he added.

“Bangladesh is ready to offer your expected products at a competitive price. To reap the benefit out of this visit, I would urge Korean business delegations to visit our market and see what our market can offer,” he said.

Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said the ties between Bangladesh and Korea will be stronger in the coming days. “Korea is a trusted development partner of Bangladesh. We invite Korean investment, especially in the field of leather goods, energy and power sector, infrastructure development, textile, jute and jute products, deep sea fishing, ICT sector and ship building. South Korea is the seventh largest investor in our EPZs,” he added.

“It is encouraging to see the continued growth of two-way trade. The success story of transforming Korea into a developed country within a generation, keeping the democratic credentials intact, inspires Bangladesh in its endeavour to steer the nation towards a middle income country by the year 2021 and a developed country by the year 2041,” he said.

He also said that Korea is one of the most attractive manpower markets for Bangladesh under the existing employment permit system. “We hope the Korean government will significantly increase the intake of nationals from Bangladesh so that not only remittance but also lessons from Korea could be routed to Bangladesh,” he added.

He said Bangladesh is one of the important partners of Korean development cooperation with which Korea works together closely on the basis of bilateral agreements.

Young Ju Kim said Korean companies are steadily investing in Bangladesh, thereby boosting ties between the two countries. He added that Korean companies will work with Bangladesh in the field of ICT and construction areas in future.

Sheikh Fazle Fahim said: “Out relations with Korea have been marked by dynamic partnership and exchange at the highest level since 1973. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Korea in 2010 renewed our bilateral cooperation.”

Recalling Korean cooperation through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOIKA), Fahim said: “It has been supporting Bangladesh in health, education, transportation and ICT. As the sixth largest foreign direct investor, Korea companies have investments in textiles, leather and banking with the total FDI stock of USD 1.2 billion till December 2018.”

“Recently, Korean super petrochemical has proposed investments worth USD 2.38 billion, which will positively contribute towards our investment relations,” he added.

About the bilateral trade, Fahim said: “The bilateral trade stands at USD 1.5 billion in the last fiscal year with exports from Bangladesh worth USD 0.25 billion and imports worth USD 1.27 billion. With duty-free quota and free market access to 90.4% of our tariff line to Korea, bilateral trade prospects are promising.”

At the end, Fahim and Young Ju Kim inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

About the MoU, Fahim said: “To strengthen our economic and commercial relations, this MoU will build our heritage of cooperation for targeted time-bound goals for renewed sustainable engagement.”

Earlier, in the first session on ‘Korean government’s new southern policy and Korea-Bangladesh cooperation strategies,” Nabhash Chandra mandal, executive member of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, spoke on ‘Korea-Bangladesh Cooperation and Future Outlook’. Lee Sun Joo, senior vice-president of Korean Telecom Corporation, spoke on ‘KT-Bangladesh Partnership.’

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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