DCCI President Rizwan Rahman, in his brief presentation, said that Bangladesh is one of the main trading partners of Europe, accounting for around 35% of Bangladesh's total trade in 2020
Bangladesh is an emerging market for attracting European investment, having a congenial atmosphere with good examples of many multinational success stories.
Speakers made the remark in a webinar titled “Economic Tie of Bangladesh and Europe: New Regulatory Regime” held on Wednesday on the second day of Bangladesh Trade & Investment Summit 2021.
The summit is jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
DCCI President Rizwan Rahman, in his brief presentation, said that Bangladesh is one of the main trading partners of Europe, accounting for around 35% of Bangladesh's total trade in 2020, reads a press release.
After LDC graduation, Bangladesh will face strict Rules of Origin requirements.
He said Bangladesh should sign FTAs/PTAs with the European Union (EU) and the UK, which will guarantee preferential market access for export to the European market.
He invited European investors to invest in the pharmaceuticals and API sector, as well as in the high-tech parks and SEZs.
“Scope of European technology transfer will usher our farming compliance and export-oriented agro-processed food industries,” he said.
He also mentioned that a comprehensive economic partnership agreement may be dealt with between Bangladesh and Europe for preferential market access to the EU market.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said: “It is true that after we graduate, we will lose the duty-free, quota-free market access.”
He also said that in the draft of the new GSP regulation, which was published last month, the European Union has proposed to remove the import-share criterion from the GSP+ eligibility.
Bangladesh will be the direct beneficiary of this change. But he urged all sectors including public and private to be cautious to become compliant with all conventions before applying for GSP+ facility in the EU market.
Managing Director of Mohammadi Group and former BGMEA President Dr Rubana Huq said: “We have to ensure our better position in a sustainable manner. LDC graduation will open up new opportunities for us. In terms of compliant factories, Bangladesh’s position is commendable.”
“The buyers should also look into a sustainable pricing system. But for that, we have to go for diversification and value-added products,” she added.
CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Zaved Akhtar said that Bangladesh is an emerging market with a huge population.
“It has been a phenomenal journey for Unilever in Bangladesh. Per capita FMCG consumption in Bangladesh is still only $23 dollars whereas it is $44 dollars in India, $100 dollars in the Philippines,” he added, mentioning that the demographic dividend is high in the country.
Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said that they have been able to become a success story in this market in 25 years.
“There is a win-win situation in this market. The youth of Bangladesh and technology and digitization will lead Bangladesh to become a developed nation in 2041. Bangladesh gives ample opportunities to foreign investors,” he said.
Standard Chartered Bangladesh CEO Naser Ejaj Bijoy said that Bangladesh is a congenial market in terms of the financial sector.
There are challenges in this sector. But if all these challenges can be overcome, this market is a profitable one, he added.