Bangladesh has been making steady progress in recent times with the GDP growth rate maintaining a healthy average of more than 6% over the last decade or so. There has been considerable employment generation, mostly pioneered by women, private entrepreneurship has become ambitious and an increase in income generating activities have made the economy moving on quite steadily. Bangladesh has been rightly identified as the next 11-promising economies of the world and its credit and investment rating with the internationally reputed rating agencies have also significantly improved in recent times.
Therefore, as part of its economic diplomacy, this Embassy has been making all endeavours to highlight this achievement of the country – to find more export opportunities for Bangladesh in Turkey and attract more investment from Turkey to Bangladesh. Since 2010, there has been slow but tangible improvement in the trade and economic relations between Bangladesh and Turkey. This Mission is making all out efforts to increase bilateral trade and economic relations Bangladesh’s exports to Turkey as well as overall political, cultural, educational, defence and other areas of cooperation between the two countries. Bangladesh export to Turkey has been increasing slowly but steadily since 2007. The two countries made tremendous efforts to increase the bilateral trade past the USD 1 billion mark in 2011 after the target was set during the Turkish President Mr. Abdullah Gul’s visit to Bangladesh in February 2010. Within a short time the two countries renewed the bilateral trade target to pass beyond USD 3 billion mark by the year 2015 during the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to Bangladesh in November, 2010. This ambitious target received a set back when Turkey, in an apparent effort to save its domestic industries, imposed safeguard duties on RMG and textile imports to Turkey which adversely effected Bangladesh’s major export to Turkey, RMG. The bilateral trade took a dip in later part of 2011 which continued through 2012.
The Embassy in Ankara isextending an easy visa service to potential businessmen and also provides support to various groups from a wide variety of sectors to do trade as well as make more investment in Bangladesh. The effort of this Embassy over the years have resulted in several Turkish company undertaking exploratory visit to Bangladesh, with some making investments in areas like textile, carpet, energy etc. There is huge scope for Turkish businessmen to do trade with and invest in garment & knitwear, leather, textile, pharmaceutical products, light engineering, agro-processing, jute & jute products (including carpet), energy, education, health, transport, telecommunication and roads & highways sectors in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has recently opened a Consulate General in Istanbul in 2012, which is expected to serve the Turkish business community effectively in order for them to venture more to Bangladesh for trade and investment besides providing consular service to both Bangladeshi and Turkish citizens.
It may be mentioned here that to discuss and review the decisions taken by the highest political level of the two countries in terms of economic cooperation, the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) between Bangladesh and Turkey, which met for its 3rd session from 18-19 November 2009 in Turkey, has been made a regular platform to review and update the ongoing bilateral cooperation. The next meeting of JEC will be held in Dhaka in November, 2012.