Bangladesh’s trade balance with China is worsening, with fast-growing trade between the two countries
Government officials and policymakers have asked Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh and export the products back to their own country using the duty free access facility.
Currently the Chinese government is providing duty free access for 97 percent products manufactured in Bangladesh.
They said Bangladesh's trade balance with China is worsening, with fast-growing trade between the two countries.
Only foreign direct investment from China could reduce the trade gap, they added.
The issues came up for discussion on Monday at the virtual opening ceremony of the Mandarin version of a report titled "Destination Bangladesh" prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Bangladesh.
Salman F Rahman, private sector industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, was the chief guest and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam was the special guest.
Salman Rahman said Bangladesh achieved a sustainable economic growth of over 7 percent for the last few years, but the rate has declined in the last fiscal year due to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The country has developed infrastructure both physically and digitally. A large number of people are now earning money using the internet. The country has been working to improve significantly in the ease of doing business index of the World Bank by 2022," he added.
Shahriar Alam said the bilateral relation of Bangladesh with China is now at the highest level in history. Beijing has provided Dhaka with various opportunities in recent time.
"The government has zero tolerance of corruption and terrorism. Investor confidence is increasing. The government has harmonised policies related to tax and business," he added.
Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (Beza), said currently the country has no scarcity of land for industrialisation. The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar at Mirershorai in Chattogram has 40,000 acres of land.
"The Beza will do everything necessary for investors," he added.
Major General Salahuddin Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, said 119 companies from China have invested over $1.1 billion in export processing zones.
Dil Afroze Begum, chief executive officer of the public-private partnership office, said China has granted duty free access for 97 percent products from Bangladesh.
"It is a great opportunity for both Bangladeshi and Chinese entrepreneurs," she added.
She said Chinese entrepreneurs could invest in Bangladesh and export products to their own country by utilising the duty free access facility. It will help Dhaka reduce the trade gap with Beijing.
Bangladesh Ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman, and HSBC Chief Executive Officer Mahbubur Rahman and Managing Partner of PwC Bangladesh Mamun Rashid also spoke at the event.