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UK export finance support to BD rises to £625m

September 18, 2017 00:00:00

The UK export finance support available for the country's trade with Bangladesh has increased to £625 million from £150 million, said Rushanara Ali MP, UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy for Bangladesh, as she began a week-long tour in the country.

According to a bdnews24.com report, she is leading a trade delegation of nine UK rail companies, said the British High Commission in Dhaka in a statement on Sunday.

High Commissioner Alison Blake said given the strong friendship and close ties between the UK and Bangladesh, her visit will "open up new avenues for trade."

The UK export finance support increased over 400 per cent, which means an additional nearly £500 million capacity to help UK exporters, and their buyers in Bangladesh get access to the best quality British goods and services.

The High Commission's statement said the companies accompanying the envoy on her second visit to Bangladesh in less than a year are specialists in the full spectrum of the rail supply chain from consultancy, systems design, rolling stock, and operations.

They will showcase UK expertise in the rail sector and to underscore the importance the UK attaches to its trade and investment partnership with Bangladesh.

Rail is an important sector for Bangladesh and the group is eager to look into areas where British expertise can help assist with existing transport initiatives that are keys to the onward growth and productivity of the country.

The UK has strong business interests in Bangladesh and remains the largest foreign investor. Over 240 British companies are operating in sectors including retail, banking, energy, infrastructure, consultancy and education with main centres of operation in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.

The UK is also the third single largest destination for exports from Bangladesh.

On arrival in Dhaka Rushanara Ali said, "Britain is keen to expand trade with Bangladesh, offering world class expertise and technology that will help the country move closer to its middle-income aspiration."

"I'm delighted to be back in Bangladesh and I'm very much looking forward to working to strengthen and deepen our trade relationships," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

Among her engagements in Dhaka, Ali will visit the Dhaka Metro rail site and attend a special British-Bangladesh rail collaboration seminar.

During her visit, she will also meet the Ministers of Commerce, Communication, Railways and Finance and State Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss future trade possibilities.

Rushanara Ali will also travel to Sylhet, the district her family comes from, to visit actual and potential areas of British investment.

She will also see first-hand some of the UKAID supported programmes to help Bangladesh's development.

High Commissioner Blake said the mission is a demonstration of UK companies' willingness to learn more about the opportunities in Bangladesh and seek partnerships for the benefit of both the countries."

Rushanara Ali is the Labour Party MP for the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow. She was first elected in 2010. She is currently a member of the Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee.

She will conclude her official visit to Bangladesh on September 21.

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