The Bangladesh-Canada Joint Working Group to boost bilateral trade and investment.
Peoples Time Desk
The governments of the two countries agreed to form a joint working group in 2017 to increase trade and investment between Bangladesh and Canada. A term of references has also been intended for this purpose. But it has not yet materialized. H.E Mr. Benoit Prefontaine, the Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, is keen to launch the joint working group by November.
High Commissioner Benoit Prefontaine expressed his interest in a courtesy call on FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin on Thursday afternoon. He said Canada has already nominated four representatives from the private sector.
Welcoming the initiative of the Canadian High Commissioner, FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin said that he himself co-chairs the group. The FBCCI will hold talks with Bangladeshi businessmen in preparation for the formation of the joint working group this month. He said many countries have invested in the 100 specialized economic zones in Bangladesh which can also appear to be attractive for Canadians’ entrepreneurs. The FBCCI Chief called for investment in primary textile, leather products, energy and power, ceramics, furniture industry, infrastructure and blue economy sectors.
Praising Bangladesh's progress, the Canadian High Commissioner said that despite being one of the most promising economies in the region in terms of socio-economic indicators, economic growth and the huge domestic markets, Bangladesh is still unfamiliar to Canadian investors. Therefore, the entrepreneurs of the country are not considering Bangladesh in terms of new investments. However, the Canadian embassy has already appointed a senior trade commissioner to improve trade relations with Bangladesh.
During the meeting, FBCCI Vice-President Mr. MA Momen said that global investors are looking for alternative investment destinations of China for various reasons. Canadian companies may consider Bangladesh in this regard. He also called for simplification of Canadian visa process for Bangladeshi businessmen.
Mr. Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Senior Vice President of FBCCI; Mr. Md. Amin Helaly, Vice-President, Md. Habib Ullah Dawn, Vice President and Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Chief Executive Officer were present at the meeting.