Bilateral trade volume between Bangladesh and South Korea is expected to reach a record high this year, revealed statistics provided by the Korea Trade Association.
Between January and November 2021, the trade volume recorded $2.014 billion, up by 54.6 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Last year it was $1.303 billion.
Bangladesh’s export increased by 35.8 per cent in 2021 to $498 million from $393 million, while Korea’s export to Bangladesh rose by 61.9 per cent to $1.51 billion from 1.033 billion US dollars in 2020.
Commenting on the development, Ambassador Lee Jang-keun of the Republic of Korea told the FE that this year will mark a momentous turning point in the bilateral trade between the two countries overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and expect the bilateral cooperation will be further strengthened in the coming years.
He hoped that Bangladesh business sector takes advantage of the preferential trade policy of Korea to Bangladesh which provides duty and quota free access to the Korean market by 95 per cent of the product since 2008.
Bilateral trade has been stagnant at $1.6 billion for almost a decade after it peaked at $1.872 billion in 2011.
Bangladesh’s export to Korea, which reached over $100 million in 2007 and $200 million in 2011, remained stagnant after it reached over $300 million in 2013.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh’s export to Korea, however, crossed over $400 million in 2019 and recorded $393 million in 2020. It is expected to go over $500 million by the end of this year.
The main export items of Bangladesh to Korea are garments, sports equipment and leisure items and bronze scraps.
Garment exports which account for 81 per cent of the total export to Korea increased by 32.4 per cent than the previous year to $442 million, while sports and leisure items skyrocketed by 92 per cent with $303 million.
Export of bronze scrap rose by 175 per cent to $9.14 million.
Korea’s export to Bangladesh which peaked in 2011 to $1.63 billion, has decreased approximately to $1.03 billion in 2020.
Major export items of Korea to Bangladesh are machinery, petrochemical product, steel and pesticides.
Export of machinery rose by 107 per cent to $297 million which reflects the continued growth of Bangladesh’s manufacturing sector.
Petrochemical products increased by 64.2 per cent to $279 million.
Steel export grew by 45.7 per cent to $190 million and pesticides by 68 per cent to $78 million.