Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh Shahriar Alam has announced the launch of a direct flight line between Egypt and Bangladesh next month after agreeing with the Egyptian government to develop economic relations.
The minister expressed his hope that the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) will submit a memorandum to the Egyptian government to establish a joint chamber of commerce between businessmen in the two countries to advance trade and economic relations.
Alam’s remarks came during his meeting with Ibrahim Al-Araby, the Chairperson of FEDCOC and the African Federation of Chambers of Commerce, in Cairo on Friday.
Furthermore, Alam said that his country is in discussions with Egypt regarding the signing of a free trade agreement to cancel customs tariffs, which will foster bilateral trade.
Alam added that his country has adopted a comprehensive economic development strategy over the past 12 years, during which it has been able to achieve a growth rate of no less than 6% annually. It has also achieved self-sufficiency in energy production to cover 100% of its population and industrial needs, which contributed to the transformation of his country’s economy from relying on agriculture to achieving sustainable development in industrial and commercial activities.
Moreover, Bangladesh contributed to the establishment of 100 free industrial zones on its lands.
On his part, Al-Araby said that intra-regional trade witnessed a decline during the past years, and despite the diversity of the commodity mix of joint trade, it did not rise to the depth of the political and historical relations between the two countries.
He added that trade balance between the two countries reached only $132.5m in 2020 — in favour of the Egyptian side — with total exports worth approximately $88m.
He explained that the most important Egyptian exports to Bangladesh were concentrated in raw cotton, some types of fruits and vegetables, ready-made clothes, vegetable seeds, and some chemical industries, while Egyptian imports from Bangladesh were primarily tableware and some types of ready-made clothes.
It was agreed with the Bangladeshi side to immediately start holding a set of virtual and physical meetings between businessmen in the two countries to discuss all opportunities for economic and commercial cooperation, he pointed out, adding that there are important and great opportunities for cooperation between the two sides to achieve a significant doubling of the volume of inter-trade.