Lee, who arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day official visit, highly appreciated Bangladesh’s economic progress
Visiting South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Sunday said, his country is keen to invest in different emerging sectors of Bangladesh, including infrastructure, power, energy, shipbuilding, deep sea fishing and ICT to boost Bangladesh’s export baskets beyond readymade garments.
“Some big Korean companies have already invested in Bangladesh; however, there are opportunities for further business expansion,” he said.
Lee, who arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day official visit, highly appreciated Bangladesh’s economic progress.
He said these as he addressed the Bangladesh-Korea Business Forum with a theme ‘Promoting Business Ties Today: Bringing Mutual Prosperity Tomorrow’ at the Hotel InterContinental in the city.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Korea International Trade Association (KITA) jointly organised the event. Young Ju Kim, CEO and chairman of KITA, spoke on the occasion. Salman F Rahman, prime minister’s adviser on ‘private sector and investment’, and business leaders were present.
Expressing his hope that the Korean leader’s visit will open up new avenues for cooperation, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi termed the country a significant development partner of Bangladesh.
Speaking at the forum, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, the government is working to create a conducive environment for investors. “South Korea is the 6th largest foreign investor in Bangladesh,” he added.
Presently, total investments by Korean companies in Bangladesh, mainly in textile; leather; and banking sectors, stands at $1.12bn.
FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim said, Bangladesh has one of the most liberal and flexible investment regimes in South Asia to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). “Issues concerning ease of doing business are being addressed at the highest level.”
He said, South Korea’s Super Petrochemical has proposed investments worth $2.38 billion in petrochemicals, which will positively contribute towards investment relations between the two countries.
The FBCCI president said, the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Korea stood at about $1.5 billion in the last fiscal year. Bangladesh’s exports to Korea stood at $0.25bn, while the import was $1.27bn. Apparels, leather and leather goods are key export items to South Korea.
Import items from South Korea include vehicles, aircraft, vessels, transport equipment, capital machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment and parts, and chemical products.
At the event, the FBCCI and the KITA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen economic and trade relations.
Korean premier’s four-nation tour
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, who is on his four nation-tour, will depart Bangladesh on Monday. He will later visit Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Qatar.
The Korean premier started his official visit by paying tributes to the Liberation War heroes at the National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar on Sunday morning.
He is scheduled to meet with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.