'Time to diversify export basket to UK'
Bangladesh considers the United Kingdom (UK) as an important export destination and it is time for diversifying the export basket, as the bilateral trade is currently concentrated on a few specific items, FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said today.
The policymakers and business leaders of the two countries should collaborate in a focused manner to improve and diversify this trade relationship, said the chief of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
"Our bilateral trade currently stands at $5.46 billion. Bangladesh exported goods worth $4.83 billion in 2021-22 fiscal year while import was $0.63 billion," he said.
"Our export to the UK is concentrated on a few items like knitwear, woven garments, frozen fish, clothing, and textile. We need to diversify our export items."
He made the comments at an event styled "Bangladesh-UK Business Corridor: Legacy and the Future" jointly organised by the HSBC in partnership with the FBCCI at the Westin Dhaka.
In a bid to improve bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and the UK, the HSBC in partnership with the FBCCI has commissioned a study on the UK and Bangladesh market to Ernst and Young and Quay Asia.
"The UK and Bangladesh share an excellent bond with a strong people-to-people connection. This study will serve as a stepping stone towards further developing trade, investment, and economic relations," said Jashim Uddin.
"And I believe this study will mark a significant milestone in the bilateral business and economic relations between the UK and Bangladesh, serve as a roadmap, guiding investors and entrepreneurs towards the most promising sectors and facilitating collaborations that drive economic growth."
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said: "I thank HSBC and FBCCI for supporting this market study which will undoubtedly open opportunities for further trade and investment growth."
Mahbub ur Rahman, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh, said the UK is the second largest foreign investor and third largest export destination for Bangladesh. "This study shall enable us to scope out the avenues of opportunities in our respective trade and investment ecosystem. Through this collective endeavour, we can leverage those opportunities across both our countries, forging a path towards a prosperous future."
The synergy between the nations is a true win-win scenario, benefitting not only the economies but also fostering long-term, sustainable relationships, he said.
Over 240 British companies have so far invested in Bangladesh.