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Bangladesh, Australia have huge opportunities to expand trade

Staff Correspondent
15 May 2023 21:57:25 | Update: 15 May 2023 21:57:25
Bangladesh, Australia have huge opportunities to expand trade
— Courtesy Photo

Bangladesh and Australia have immense potential to enhance bilateral trade by further deepening collaboration and cooperation, said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan.

Trade between the two countries had grown considerably over the past years and more opportunities still lie ahead that could benefit both sides if reaped together, he commented.

He came up with the observation during a meeting with Hon Tim Watts MP, assistant minister for Foreign Affairs of the Australian Government, in Dhaka on Monday. 

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives Section Director Brendan Hodgson, Indian Ocean and South Asia Regional Assistant Secretary Megan Jones; office of the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Adviser Louisa Bochner, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer were present at the meeting.

The event was also attended by State Minister for the ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Russell T Ahmed.

They had discussions about different issues, including potential areas of expanding trade and investment between Australia and Bangladesh.

Issues relevant to Bangladesh’s RMG industry including its prospects and preparedness to continue the growth momentum were discussed during the meeting.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan briefed the Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs about the huge progress made by Bangladesh’s RMG industry in terms of workplace safety, environmental sustainability, and workers' rights and welfare.

He said Bangladesh was interested in importing more cotton and wool from Australia to meet the growing demand of the RMG and textile industry.

The BGMEA President informed the Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs about the BGMEA’s initiative to organize the Bangladesh Apparel Summit in Australia on 18th July 2023 and called on him to expend support in organising the event.

He also sought cooperation from Australia in developing knowledge and skills of the students of BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) in textile, apparel, fashion, design and business through collaboration with leading Australian universities and fashion institutes.

He expressed thanks to the Australian government for its decision to continue duty-free market access for Bangladesh. “It would support Bangladesh in maintaining the momentum of its economic growth after the LDC graduation,” Faruque Hassan added.