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Bangladesh – UK Trade and Investment Dialogue 2023

The second Bangladesh-UK Trade and Investment Dialogue were held in February 2023 in Dhaka. The Government of Bangladesh was represented by the Commerce Secretary, Mr. Tapan Kanti Ghosh. The British High Commissioner, Mr. Robert Chatterton Dickson, and His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, Mr. Alan Gemmell OBE, led the UK delegation. Thereafter, a Joint Working Group was convened to cover a broad range of trade and investment issues, including mutual barriers to market access.

Both countries underlined the importance of a Joint Working Group (JWG) and dialogue towards achieving an enhanced and stronger relationship. Both countries also agreed to enhance the trading partners to increase mutual prosperity ahead of Bangladesh’s promotion from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status. The UK acknowledged Bangladesh’s economic growth and resilience despite the effects of the global pandemic and an existing global economic crisis.

The countries discussed mutual cooperation in areas such as LDC promotion, investment cooperation, pharmaceuticals, ease of doing business, financial sector development, higher education provision, taxation issues, and intellectual property protection. UK also encouraged investment opportunities for the UK services sector, which would also include financial and professional services. Both countries shed light on the importance of high-quality education and the further deepening of the scope of collaboration for mutual benefit.

The UK also laid emphasis on the importance of Bangladesh having economic policies and systems to achieve rapid, sustainable, and green economic development, with cooperation from the UK. Bangladesh was also invited by the UK to engage with its private sector in order to pursue a commercial dispute resolution system to unlock the full potential of foreign direct investment in Bangladesh.

UK’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia mentioned that the UK and Bangladesh have the potential to help grow both countries’ economies by providing jobs, transferring skills, generating revenue, creating competition, and increasing standards. A conducive environment for business and the removal of market barriers will help both countries explore underlying opportunities in both countries. The Commerce Secretary concluded the dialogue by crediting the mutual relationship between the nations on mutual trust, interest, and common values. He also mentioned that the dialogue will not only contribute to increasing trade and investment in both countries but also enhance economic cooperation.