Recently Canadian government has expressed its interest to import textile products from Bangladesh, which enjoys duty-free access to Canadian markets. The interest was proclaimed at the 4th Showcase Canada 2018 (Trade and Education Fair) held from 6-7 May 2018 at the International Convention City, Bashundhara, Dhaka.
The event has been organized by the Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham) and supported by the High Commission of Canada, Bangladesh. Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, inaugurated the event as a chief guest.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said, “If the present trade facilities offered by the Canadian government remain unchanged, Bangladesh’s exports to Canada will reach $3 billion by 2021.”
“In enlarging trade volume in the Canadian market, we are planning to showcase our products especially leather and diversified jute products as there is a huge opportunity for growth,” he added.
“Last year Bangladesh’s exports to Canada were worth $1.1 billion, while imports from Canada were worth $600 million,” said Tofail Ahmed.
High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine said, “Canada is going to be a key garment export destination for Bangladesh in achieving the $50 billion overseas sales target by the end of 2021’’.
He also said, “We have good diplomatic relations with Bangladesh. Showcase Canada 2018 will facilitate people to people links, thus promoting trade and investment. We have a plan to arrange exhibitions in Canada too.”
“Canada is a bilingual country of almost 37 million people, with both French and English as official languages. Canada is offering education in both languages. I hope that the fair will usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation between Canada and Bangladesh,” he added.
Masud Rahman, President, Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham Bangladesh) said, “As a private sector trade promotion organization, CanCham Bangladesh’s mandate is to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and Bangladesh. Canada is a leading as well as growing trading partner of Bangladesh, providing export opportunities. Bangladesh needs to diversify its export basket for Canada as we have duty-free market access there’’.
Bangladesh and Canada may form a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to explore possibilities of expanding trade and investment. The signing of a “Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)” between the two countries would also go a long way towards increasing foreign direct investment from Canada to Bangladesh. This may be taken into consideration by the governments of both countries,” he added.
Keith O’Brien, First Secretary Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, High Commission of Canada in Singapore said, “Sustainable economic growth, health, and education are the three areas Canada’s government wants to work on in Bangladesh. Besides, we are also working with the government of Bangladesh to strengthen garment worker safety in the country. Canada wants to expand in the services sector in Bangladesh, such as aircraft safety.”