Bangladesh asks Russian investors to invest in the SEZs
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen along with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov before the meeting on April 29, 2019. Photo Courtesy: Russian foreign ministry
Bangladesh has urged Russia to invest into its 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) project.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen conveyed the invitation to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his first official visit to Russia on April 29, 2019, reads a ministry release.
During talks, Foreign Minister Momen laid emphasis on the initiatives of the two countries to boost the volume of bilateral trade at the expected level.
He urged the Russian investors and companies to enter into joint ventures or 100 percent owned business ventures in the 100 special economic zones, which are currently being set up in Bangladesh and as well as in the High-Tech Parks.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov informed him that Economic forum in Saint Petersburg would be the ideal platform for Bangladesh to attract Russian and foreign investors.
Foreign Minister Momen sought support from Russia for duty-free quota-free access of Bangladesh’s products to the Russian market and also in member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.
A memorandum of cooperation between the government of Bangladesh and the Eurasian Economic Commission is expected to be inked soon.
TALKS PROGRESSING WITH RUSSIA
Bangladesh is likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia in order to boost exports to the country, especially in the sector of apparel items.
The move should ring a sweet bell for apparel exporters who are looking to diversify export destination. Also, Bangladesh has been looking up to Russia for quite some time as a potential export destination of the country’s prime export item – the readymade garments.
Though the instrument was expected to be signed by March, the matter is getting delayed.
Also, Russia has expressed interest in joint venture projects in Bangladesh’s power and energy and pharmaceutical sectors.
APPAREL EXPORT STATISTICS
Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Russia amounted to US $427.8 million during the fiscal 2017-18, according to Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau. Knitwear contributed to US $260.6 million of export while woven segment contributed US $167.2 million.
In the running fiscal from July-January 2019 period, apparel exports amounted to US $276.3 million, what constituted of US $169 million in knitwear items and US $107.3 million in woven items.
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