By Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
Bangladesh government has opened a commercial display room at its High Commission in Abuja aimed to attract the potential business leaders, importers and investors of Nigeria to invest in Bangladesh, according to foreign affairs ministry in Dhaka.
Mr. Tipu Munshi,MP, Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh and Mr. Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria jointly inaugurated the Commercial Display Room at the Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria on 30 October, 2020. Bangladesh Minister joined digitally while the Nigerian Minister was present in person. Mr. Md. Shameem Ahsan, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria made welcome remarks.
The Ministers, in their remarks, welcomed the initiative of the Mission and felt that it will help the foreigners specially potential Nigerian importers and investors gain an insight and knowledge about export potentials and investment climate of Bangladesh. While noting that there has been phenomenal rise in bilateral trade recently from US$ 11.27 million (FY 2018-19) to US$ 144.75 million (FY 2019-20), both the Ministers stressed on utilisation of huge potentials between Bangladesh and Nigeria for the benefit of the two friendly countries.
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Mr. Tipu Munshi expressed satisfaction that the opening coincided with the year-long programmes to celebrate 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. While expressing his desire for stronger commercial and trade links with Nigeria, he said that Bangladesh attaches great importance to its relations with Nigeria, biggest economy of Africa and 6th largest producer of oil in the world. Mr.
Tipu Munshi expressed deep satisfaction for the recent bilateral developments including signing of few MoUs, among others, according to a press release issued on Saturday.
Mr. Otunba Adebayo, the Nigerian Minister, commended the leadership of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the development journey and urged Bangladeshi investors for joint venture in Nigeria including in RMG/textile sector which will allow duty and quota free access to ACFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) region–the largest free trade area of the world as well as in USA as Nigeria is a member of ACFTA and AGOA (Africa Growth and Opportunity Act).
On the side line of the inauguration, both the Ministers launched Nigerian-Bangladeshi Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and Nigeria-Bangladesh Business and Technology Forum (NBBTF). Presidents of the bodies also spoke and assured to work for stronger commercial and economic links between the two countries. Both the Ministers invited each other to visit and they gladly accepted. Dr. Md. Jafar Uddin, Commerce Secretary, Senior officials from the Commerce and Foreign Ministry, Nigerian officials, business and chamber leaders joined, among others. The event was followed by refreshments.
Commercial Display Room at the High Commission has a wide range of exhibits/exportables of Bangladesh which are on display including, among others, pharmaceuticals, ceramic products, jute and leather products, ready-made garments & knitwear, handicrafts, tea, electrical and home appliances and agro-products. Some prominent Bangladeshi companies (Walton Group, Monno Ceramics, ACI Ltd. Mondol Group/Apollo Fashions) also donated their export-quality products to the Display Room in addition to Mission’s own collections. One section contains publications/materials/brochures/CDs on trade & investment, tourism potentials in Bangladesh along with the opportunities of higher education for foreign students. It may be mentioned here that the frontal area of the Display Room contains publications on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and on history, culture and economy of Bangladesh. In line with the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, persuasion of “economic diplomacy” has been one of the priority areas of the High Commission and it received 6 “Best” Awards at various Fairs in Nigeria in the last two years (2019 & 2020)