The appointment of Bangladesh-born British MP Rushanara Ali as a UK trade envoy for Bangladesh is a welcome fillip for relations between our two countries.
Bangladesh has been highlighted by the UK as an emerging market with substantial trade and investment opportunities. The role is part of the UK’s cross-party Trade Envoy program to help grow relations with countries identified as key markets for the UK.
It is an encouraging sign that the strong growth of Bangladesh’s economy is attracting more interest from investors around the world.
With the UK accounting for nearly 10% of Bangladesh’s export earnings, it is important to build on our nations’ strengthening ties, which have seen bilateral trade in goods and services more than double since 2007.
By making the announcement on Pohela Boishakh, British Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledges the close ties between the UK and Bangladesh, exemplified by the increasingly prominent role played in British life by people with ancestral roots in Bangladesh.
He also sends a signal of growing confidence in the potential of Bangladesh’s economy.
Bangladesh should reciprocate by encouraging our own businesses and exporters to do more to boost their profile in the UK.
Growing trade is the best way for Bangladesh to attract new FDI and to create and secure new jobs to advance further on the path of development as a middle-income nation.
The government should emulate the UK’s example by making better use of the opportunities afforded by our nation’s growing business, and people to people links around the world.
Bangladesh needs to let the world know its potential by opening new trade offices and simplifying procedures to attract investors. Appointing trade representatives of our own to as many markets as possible would be a useful step in this direction.