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Canada can assist Bangladesh in advancing blue economy: FBCCI

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With Canadian investment, technical knowledge and assistance, Bangladesh's economy can move forward by utilising its marine resources.

President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md Jashim Uddin said this during a virtual meeting of the joint working committee of Bangladesh and Canada on Tuesday.

He said Canada is one of the best countries in the world in ocean economy, and the country has the expertise and knowledge to use its marine resources in a sustainable manner.

On the other hand, Bangladesh has a 710-kilometre long coastline with an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles inside the Bay of Bengal, he mentioned.

Mr Jashim Uddin said the FBCCI would soon submit a sector-wise report on the blue economy, plastics and tourism to the working committee.

The previous meeting of the Canada-Bangladesh Joint Working Group identified tourism, ICT, agriculture, agri-food, education, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy as potential sectors for collaboration.

The FBCCI leader called for a new inclusion of the blue economy and plastics sector.

He stressed the joint working committee of Bangladesh and Canada should work together to make the Canadian entrepreneurs aware about tremendous investment potential in Bangladesh.

"Canadian investors are not yet fully aware about investment potential and advantages in Bangladesh. Therefore, a joint working committee of the two countries will brand Bangladesh in Canada to strengthen investment and trade with Bangladesh," said the leader of the apex trade body.

He said Bangladesh is now one of the best investment destinations in the region due to its infrastructure facilities, huge domestic market and duty-free facilities in the major markets of the world.

FBCCI Director Syed Almas Kabir said they will also submit a report on skills development and information technology at the next working committee meeting.

During the meeting the two sides have agreed to strengthen inter-communication between industry associations to remove trade barriers and increase import-export between two countries.

At the meeting, the entrepreneurs talked about making Canada's Rules of Origin easier to increase exports of Bangladeshi products, while Canada has demanded an on-arrival visa facility in Bangladesh to facilitate trade and investment.

During the meeting, a study report on the prospects of Bangladesh's leather, leather products, and footwear export sector in Canada was presented by Md Saiful Islam, director of FBCCI and president of MCCI (Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Dhaka.

Chris Dekker, president, Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) presented another report on bilateral trade enhancement.

Co-founder of Consumer Health Nuzhat Tam-Zaman co-chaired the meeting.

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled to be held on February 07.

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