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BD, Brazil willing to boost trade ties

FE REPORT | May 27, 2023 00:00:00

Bangladesh and Brazil have expressed the willingness to improve trade relations between the two countries by removing the barriers to trade, including communication and shipments.

The two countries expressed their interest at the first bilateral business conference in Dhaka on Thursday.

Brazil focused on cooperation in poultry and cotton while Bangladesh's interest was on readymade garments, textiles, pharmaceuticals, etc.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Department of Trade Promotion, Investment Attraction, Agribusiness (DPRA), Apex Brazil and Bangladesh-Brazil Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BBCCI) organised the conference where a high-powered trade delegation from Brazil attended.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi attended the inaugural session as chief guest, with Brazilian Ambassador in Dhaka Paulo Fernando Dias Feres in the chair.

The Brazilian delegation included Anirban Aftab of INN Group, Felipe Luis Ody Spaniol of CNA (National Confederation of Agriculture), Luis Renato de Alcantara Rua of ABPA (Brazilian Poultry, Swine and Fish Association), Juliano Leonidas Hoffmann of ABRA (Associacao Brasileira de Reciclagem Animal), Marcelo

Duarte Monteiro of ABRAPA (Brazilian Cotton Growers Association), Rodrigo Gedeon of Apex Brasil, Ambassador Alex Giacomelli of the Foreign Ministry of Brazil and Counselor Fernando Onofre.

From the Bangladesh side, leaders from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce, and Cotton Association of Bangladesh and Industry attended the meeting.

Mr Tipu Munshi invited Brazil's investment in the economic zones of Bangladesh, highlighting the business-friendly environment of the country.

He said the two countries have some commonness which can be utilised for the benefit of each other and stressed on reducing the barriers to trade, including communication and shipment.

The minister also suggested organising more business-to-business meetings and visits between the two countries to explore the areas of cooperation.

The Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh highlighted the huge potential of improvement in trade relations between the two countries amid challenges in the changing world and urged the businessmen to keep continuing the growth of their businesses.

"There are so many opportunities and we must act … keep going to build confidence," he added.

FBCCI President Jasim Uddin highlighted the opportunities of exporting knitwear, leather goods, pharmaceutical products to Brazil being an influential and rising economy in Latin America, and laid importance on forming business networks for mutual growth and prosperity.

BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim urged Brazil to offer duty-free facility to readymade garments and said export to Brazil faces high tariff though Bangladesh imports a huge quantity of cotton from Brazil.

The Brazil-Bangladesh trade relation is in favour of Brazil as its export to Bangladesh was US$2.24 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22. Bangladesh mainly imports cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form, cotton; not carded or combed, and soybeans.

On the other hand, Bangladesh exported goods worth $109.20 million to Brazil during the same fiscal year.

The Brazilian side also focused on expansion of the consumer market in Bangladesh and said the country may take advantage of the high-quality goods which are fully mechanised and, national and internationally certified.

They said Brazil is the 2nd largest producer of poultry and livestock while the fourth largest producer of cotton and the cotton production capacity is likely to increase significantly.

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