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Bangladesh aims to boost trade with Canada to $5 billion by 2020Monday, February 23, 2015 > 11:21:42
Bangladesh aims to boost trade with Canada to $5.0 billion by 2020 from the present level of $2.0 billion, a business leader said on Saturday.
Bangladesh has been enjoying duty-free market access to Canada since 2003. Potential trading opportunities to explore include expanding Canadian imports of readymade garments, jute, ceramic tableware and kitchenware.
"We plan to raise our two-way trade to $5.0 billion at the end of 2020..." said Masud Rahman, president of Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham).
CanCham organises a two-day trade fair on Saturday to boost bilateral trade and investment.
"The objective of this fair is to boost up the contact between people to people of both the countries and thus increase the business and investment," Masud told Reuters in an interview during this fair.
"We also want to increase export diversification and also want to involve Bangladeshi diasporas in Canada for investment in Bangladesh," he said.
Bangladesh was the third largest pulse export market for Canada in 2013 and a major market for wheat. Agri-food was the leading export sector from Canada to South Asia in 2013, making Bangladesh the second largest Canadian agri-food buyer in South Asia.
Masud said that in view of the robust growth of the Bangladesh economy, Canadian investment would be encouraged from the current investment of more than $300 million.
Although Bangladesh's overall exports to Canada have grown they are not diversified, but concentrated on a limited number of products.
Clothing accounted for 70 percent of Bangladesh's total exports to Canada.
"The enormous export potential in the Canadian market for Bangladesh is largely unexplored," Masud said.
He said many apparel products had potential in the Canadian market, followed by frozen shrimps and crabs, leather and footwear, other fabric items and ceramic ware.