Pak-Bangladesh trade continues to grow substantially: High commissioner

FAISALABAD – Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh is growing at a much faster pace and it will cross the mark of one billion dollars by the year-end, said Ruhul Alam Siddique, high commissioner of Bangladesh in Pakistan.

He was addressing the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here on Thursday. He said that Pakistan was very important for Bangladesh in terms of trade and the two countries must supplement and complement each other, instead of becoming competitors. He said that trade potential between the two countries was enormous and “we must harness our skills and capabilities to tap it for the benefit of each other”. He said that Bangladesh intended to cooperate with Pakistan in the fields of food processing, dairy and even textile. He said that Bangladesh did not produce even a single bale of cotton, “but we are second in garment export after China”.

He said that a large number of Pakistanis were working in Bangladesh but his country still needed skilled manpower for its textile sector. He said that his country’s development was directly linked with the progress of the region and all regional states must concentrate on reactivating SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area). He said that Bangladesh had signed only one free trade agreement (FTA). “We have some problems in signing FTA with Pakistan, but we must make collaborative efforts to overcome the emerging challenges,” said Ruhul Alam Siddique, adding that he had good relations with the business community of Karachi and now he would develop similar linkages with the business circles of Punjab.

Earlier, FCCI President Atif Munir Sheikh introduced Faisalabad and the FCCI and said that the city alone was contributing 45% share to the total textile export of Pakistan. He said that in 2021 Pakistani exports to Bangladesh were $815.6 million, while imports from Bangladesh were only $90.4 million. He proposed chamber-to-chamber links, exchange of trade delegations and constitution of Pak-Bangladesh business council to further enhance our bilateral trade. The Bangladeshi high commissioner also presented a gift of books to the FCCI president. He also recorded his impressions in the visitor’s book.

 

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