Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said Bangladesh’s exports to Canada will reach $3 billion by 2021. “If the present trade facilities offered by the Canadian government remain unchanged, Bangladesh’s exports to Canada will reach $3 billion by 2021,” said the minister.
Bangladesh enjoys duty free access to Canadian markets.
“In enlarging trade volume in the Canadian market, we are planning to showcase our products - especially leather and diversified jute products as there is a huge opportunity for growth,” said Tofail at the 4th Showcase Canada 2018 (Trade and Education Fair) on Sunday. The event has been organized by the Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham Bangladesh) and supported by the High Commission of Canada, Bangladesh. Tofail Ahmed, inaugurated the event as chief guest.
“Last year Bangladesh’s exports to Canada were worth $1.1 billion, while imports from Canada were worth $600 million,” said Tofail Ahmed.
“As a private sector trade promotion organization, CanCham Bangladesh’s mandate is to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and Bangladesh. Canada is a leading as well as growing trading partner of Bangladesh, providing export opportunities. Bangladesh needs to diversify its export basket for Canada as we have duty-free market access there,” said Masud Rahman, President, Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham Bangladesh).
Bangladesh and Canada may form a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to explore possibilities of expanding trade and investment. The signing of a “Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)” between the two countries would also go a long way towards increasing foreign direct investment from Canada to Bangladesh. This may be taken into consideration by the governments of both countries,” he added.
High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine said: “We have good diplomatic relations with Bangladesh. Showcase Canada 2018 will facilitate people to people links, thus promoting trade and investment. We have a plan to arrange exhibitions in Canada too.
“Canada is a bilingual country of almost 37 million people, with both French and English as official languages. Canada is offering education in both languages. I hope that the fair will usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation between Canada and Bangladesh,” he added.
“Sustainable economic growth, health, and education are the three areas Canada’s government wants to work on in Bangladesh. Besides, we are also working with the government of Bangladesh to strengthen garment worker safety in the country. Canada wants to expand in the services sector in Bangladesh, such as aircraft safety,” said Keith O’Brien, first secretary Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, High Commission of Canada in Singapore.
Quazi Gulam Farhad, trade cfficer, High Commission of Canada, Sonia Takkar, India representative, Canadore College, Zeeshan Khan, team Lead-India International Student Recruitment, Durham College, Pranav Rathi senior advisor, India International Centre, Fanshawe College, Dylam Hoemsen, North America Student Recruitment director, South Asia, Navitas, Adrian Ting, regional manager, Recruitment, Southeast Asia, and Shweta Sharma, International Liason officer for South and Southeast Asia were present at the inaugural session.
Dutch Bangla Bank Limited, Etihad Airways, Jamuna Bank Limited, and Flora Telecom are the sponsors of the event.