Bangladesh and Oman could benefit from more B2B interaction and exchange of visits among the business community, says the foreign minister
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh and Oman could explore the possibility to sign a bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) or Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to maximize the available synergies in trade for the mutual benefit of the two nations.
"Over the last decade, bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Oman has grown but at a slow pace. We have much more scope to expand and diversify bilaterally traded items," he said.
The foreign minister was addressing a webinar on "Bangladesh-Oman Bilateral Trade & Investment: Challenges and Opportunities" to celebrate "Mujib Year" and "Golden Jubilee" of the Independence of Bangladesh on Sunday, a foreign ministry press release said on Tuesday.
Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs of Oman foreign ministry Sheikh Khalifa Alharthy also spoke on the occasion.
Momen said Bangladesh makes world-class products such as, Ready Made Garments (RMG), ceramics, pharmaceuticals, leather products, frozen fish, jute, and jute products, processed food, that are being exported to Europe, the USA, and other destinations around the world.
"Our businessmen are confident they can supply most of the products to Oman at much more competitive prices," he said and sought Oman cooperation for facilitating access of Bangladeshi products into the Omani market.
He said the current Covid-19 pandemic has taught that all must venture into new areas to explore markets and supply sources to keep economies running.
"We must work jointly to find out the means and ways to increase cooperation in different areas such as bilateral trade and investment, energy, renewable energy, technological, food security, health," he said. The foreign minister said engagement of private sectors and business communities from both sides is essential for the expansion of bilateral trade and investment.
"We need to facilitate B2B interaction and exchange of visits among business community from both ends," he said.
The foreign minister considered forming a "Bangladesh-Oman Business Forum" to explore and strengthen business cooperation between the two countries.
Both Bangladesh and Oman can participate in trade fairs held in each other's capitals on a regular basis to familiarize and popularize products, he added.
The foreign minister urged Oman entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh exploiting the opportunity to profit from the country's investment-friendly environment.
Oman can invest in hotel, residence, and shopping complex building projects in the hi-tech parks located across the country as Dhaka is willing to provide dedicated land and space for Omani investors in the ICT in Bangladesh, he said.
The foreign minister also urged Oman to invest in the blue economy, the shipbuilding industry, and in the energy and power sectors.