Philippines-Bangladesh Business Council(PBBC) has been launched under the support of the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Department of Trade and Industry and the Bangladesh embassy. The launch took place during a six-member Bangladesh business delegation led by Rashed Maksud Khan, president of Bangladesh-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry(BPCCI), visited Manila Jan. 18-22 to explore market and trade opportunities in Philippines.
The idea of PBBC was floated by Bangladesh Commerce Minister during his visit to Manila in May last year. According to Bangladesh Ambassador John Gomes, it has long been his intention to revive the trade relations between the two friendly countries as this could be the beginning of a long drawn trade relationship which will pave the way to a two-way trade between the two countries greatly benefiting both economies.
He expressed his happiness on the signing of a MOU on increased trade relations between the two sides on this occasion. He noted that through its ready-made garments, the textile industry is the number one foreign exchange earner of Bangladesh which has become the worldâ€™s leading RMG exporter, after China.
Philippine businessmen are invited to do direct business with Bangladesh and import garments directly to the Philippines. As many Bangladesh small traders are now bringing ready-made garments to the Philippines on piecemeal basis.
Bilateral trades between the two countries, although insignificant, have increased over the years and the balance is more or less in equilibrium. There is great potential for Bangladeshi ready-made garments, jute products, ceramics and pharmaceuticals to be exported to the Philippines.
Many businessmen from the Philippines are now interested to do business in Bangladesh. Ambassador John Gomes thinks that the Filipino traders can invest in Bangladesh in the field of textiles, shipbuilding, hotels, seaports, land-port facilities and production of solar energy.
Bangladesh is having a sustained economic growth even through the global growth slow-down. Foreign investors are quite happy with the investment policies and the Philippines and for that matter global community is well aware of micro finance development which has been introduced around the world. Millions of people have been employed in different sectors because of sustained economic growth. Strong remittance and foreign reserves have contributed to a very stable exchange rate of taka against dollar and this has also contributed to significant inflow of FDI.
Bangladesh exports mainly ready-made garments, cotton, knitwear, jute and jute goods, chemical fertilizers, metals, leather, pharmaceuticals, tobacco etc. to the Philippines and imports yarn, synthetic fibres, condensed milk, scrapped iron or steel, food items, frames & mountings for goggles/spectacles, vegetables, chemicals and plastic from the Philippines. The Philippines also exports gas oil, motor gasoline and high speed fuel oil to Bangladesh for last couple of years.
The Philippine-Bangladesh bilateral relations are now at the top of its height. Many Filipino workers are going to Bangladesh to join in textile and RMG sector. The potential of increased trade relations between the two countries are very high. Both the countries have similarity in the field of manpower, specially overseas employment, infrastructure, economic and political development etc.
Both countries are overpopulated and depend on foreign remittance received from their overseas workers. Freedom of speech and democratic and human rights are the basis of the constitution of both countries and womenâ€™s empowerment in both countries has seen significant developments in recent times.
The trade relations between the two countries will gain a new pace toward full exploitation of opportunities from both sides.
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