Pakistan aims to bolster economic and commercial ties with Bangladesh
Pakistan is eager to boost trade and economic ties with Bangladesh with the resumption of direct flights and establishing maritime connectivity between the two countries.
“Pakistan wants to enhance bilateral trade with Bangladesh which is well-positioned in various economic surveys,” Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh said during a meeting with the President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Rizwan Rahman in Bangladesh’s capital city.
Ambassador Imran Ahmed Siddiqui said that the activation of the Pakistan-Bangladesh Joint Economic Commission would help boost trade ties. He stressed the need to resume direct flights between Dhaka and Karachi as well as the commencement of a direct shipping facility from Karachi to Chattogram port to promote trade and commerce.
The two countries are looking forward to rebuilding ties especially after a rare phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina Wajed in July 2020 during which the Pakistani premier expressed his desire for “closer and fraternal” relations with Bangladesh.
Textile and agriculture
Pakistan High Commissioner Siddiqui urged the business community and private companies in both countries to utilize the potential in the agriculture and blue economy sectors to expand bilateral trade.
“Pakistan’s fashion industry could also be a good opportunity for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs” and textile sector for mutual benefit, he said, urging to enhance cultural engagements and poeple-to-people contacts to strengthen economic diplomacy.
Emphasizing the need to boost regional trade and investment, DCCI President Rahman said that the participation of Pakistani entrepreneurs in the recently organized DCCI Business Conclave 2021 was encouraging. He also hinted at a free trade agreement between Pakistan and Bangladesh to increase trade volumes.
Rahman also asked the Pakistani high commissioner to reactivate certain MoUs signed between the DCCI and different commerce chambers in Pakistan.
Bangladesh is the second top export destination of Pakistan in Asia after China and Afghanistan. Pakistan’s commerce ministry is now eager to take steps to improve trade relations with Bangladesh after Pakistan appointed its new ambassador to Dhaka in January 2020.
The bilateral trade between the two countries was reported to be $700.39 million in 2019-20, wherein Pakistani exports amounted to $654.79 million and import from Bangladesh stood at $45.60million.