FM pitches for Bangladesh-Oman biz forum to bolster trade ties

PBC News:  Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has pitched for the involvement of the business community in both Bangladesh and Oman to expand the scope of bilateral trade and investment.

“We may consider forming a ‘Bangladesh-Oman Business Forum’ to explore and strengthen business cooperation between the two countries,” he said, reports UNB.

Dr Momen said that both sides need to facilitate B2B (business to business) interaction and exchange of visits among their business community

The Foreign Minister was addressing a webinar titled ‘Bangladesh-Oman Bilateral Trade & Investment: Challenges and Opportunities’ on Monday night to celebrate ‘Mujib Year’ and the golden jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.

Sheikh Khalifa Alharthy, Under Secretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Foreign Ministry of Oman, and Bangladesh Ambassador to the Gulf state, Mizanur Rahman, also shared their views at the webinar.

As a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member, Oman applies 5 percent customs duty for all countries, including Bangladesh.

“Although Oman individually can not offer any tariff preference to Bangladesh, Muscat can pursue GCC for DFQF market access of some of our products to Oman and the GCC market as well,” Dr Momen said.

“I propose that frequent exchange of trade delegations at official and private levels should be encouraged to expand areas of trade and strengthen bilateral trade,” he said.

Both Bangladesh and Oman, Dr Momen said, can participate in trade fairs held in each other’s capitals on a regular basis to familiarise with products.

Investment Prospects in Bangladesh

The Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh has prepared the ground for foreign investments with friendly policies and a favourable business environment.

It has put investment regulatory laws in place like Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act 1980, which ensures legal protection and non-discriminatory treatment for foreign investors.

As part of its liberal policy regime, Bangladesh offers various incentives like tax holiday, tax exemption and waiver of import duties, capital repatriation, ease of profit, investment opportunities in stock market for foreigners, and other preferential benefits, said the Foreign Minister.

“The government has taken active steps to improve the business climate by enhancing connectivity through infrastructure buildup and improve the ranking of Ease of Doing Business and One-stop Service for foreign investors,” Dr Momen said.

The government, he said, has also taken initiatives to establish 100 economic zones in addition to the existing Exclusive Economic Zones, and several high-tech parks for IT industries are underway.

Over 800 IT companies are now thriving in the country with an exposure to the international market, he said.

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