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Canada to adopt progressive trade agenda: envoyMonday, May 01, 2017 > 11:49:27
From left, Masud Rahman, president of CanCham, Benoit-Pierre Laramee, Canadian high commissioner in Dhaka, and Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, foreign minister of Bangladesh, pose for photographs on the occasion of the 150th founding day of Canada at Le Meridien Hotel in the capital on Thursday. Photo: CanCham
The Canadian government will soon adopt a progressive trade agenda to help all segments of society around the world, said Benoit-Pierre Laramee, Canadian high commissioner in Dhaka.
The progressive trade agenda will particularly focus on women, indigenous people, youth, and small and medium businesses, Laramee said while addressing a function on the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada at Le Meridien Hotel in Dhaka on Thursday.
Canada-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham) organised the event.
“It is a pleasure to witness the significant increase in bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Bangladesh over the past few years, from less than 600 million Canadian dollars in 2005 to around 2.4 billion dollars in 2016,” Laramee said.
“The rapid growth in two-way trade between our two countries has contributed to Bangladesh's food security and economic development and to our mutual prosperity,” the envoy said.
During this period, Bangladesh has become the second largest source of Canadian merchandise imports from South Asia, he said. Many Canadian garment retailers source their products from Bangladesh, Laramee said.
CanCham Bangladesh believes that trade between the two countries could increase to US$5 billion by 2021, said Masud Rahman, the president of the chamber.
“This needs about 40 percent growth per annum. For this, Bangladesh should drastically look for export diversification. Canadian exports to Bangladesh should also substantially increase to maintain healthy trade balance,” Rahman said.
Bangladesh witnessed over 7 percent GDP growth last year which presents a considerable opportunity for foreign investment, Rahman said.
“There is substantial Canadian investment in Bangladesh. I hope it will increase rapidly as CanCham Bangladesh has established strong networking with Asia Pacific investors through our linkage with Asia Pacific CanChams,” Rahman said.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said: “Our respective Chamber bodies should work closely and exchange more visits to identify mutually beneficial ventures. Taking this opportunity, I urge our Canadian friends for more Canadian investment in Bangladesh and hope that CanCham will also play an enabling role in this regard.”
Canadian entrepreneurs may contribute to the economic growth of both the countries by investing in the 100 special economic zones being established all over Bangladesh, especially in power, energy, transportation, ICT, food and agro processing sectors, the minister said.