The Daily Star

Saturday, August 3, 2019YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

12:00 AM, July 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 16, 2019


Strengthening Bangladesh’s ties with South Korea

Greater engagement in trade and investment will benefit both

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday. Bangladesh and South Korea signed three instruments on cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, diplomacy, and culture. Photo: PID

It is heartening to note that the South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, during the official summit talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on July 14, has assured Bangladesh of considering duty-free and quota-free market access for all Bangladeshi products to their market. Since currently the bilateral trade is heavily tilted towards South Korea, if Bangladesh gets duty-free and quota-free market access of its products such as woven garments, pharmaceuticals, knitwear, jute and jute products, leather and leather goods, frozen food and ceramic items to Korean market, this will definitely narrow down the trade imbalance between the two countries. We also welcome the signing of the three instruments during Lee Nak-yon’s visit—on strengthening cooperation in the areas of investment, culture and diplomatic training.

Korea has been a long-time friend and development partner of Bangladesh. Korean companies have substantial investment in our textiles, tanneries and footwear factories in EPZs. Currently, the size of total investment by Korean companies in Bangladesh is USD 1.12 billion and most of them are in the textile and leather sectors. So, there is scope for further investment in other sectors. Bangladesh has huge investment opportunities in the energy, ICT, defence, construction, shipbuilding and energy sectors. It is good to learn that Korea has shown interest in investing in many of these sectors. It has expressed its interest in helping set up 10,000 ICT centres across Bangladesh. Recently, South Korean Super Petrochemical has proposed investments worth USD 2.38 billion in petrochemicals. It is encouraging that the Korean side has earmarked USD 1 billion ODA for Bangladesh for 2020. Such investment plans, if materialised, will definitely strengthen the ties between the two countries. 

Besides, as there is an increasing demand for labour in the booming industries in Korea, it could be a potential destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers. Bangladesh should start exploring such opportunities. Moreover, currently many Bangladeshi students are pursuing higher education in Korea. Therefore, Korea should also consider increasing scholarship and career opportunities for the Bangladeshi students. These will further strengthen the fraternal bond between the two countries.

South Korea, Bangladesh discuss expanding business ties

All Headlines 14:00 July 15, 2019

DHAKA, July 15 (Yonhap) — Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has called for Bangladesh’s support for South Korean companies seeking to be involved in the Southeast Asian country’s fast-growing energy, infrastructure and information technology sectors.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Sunday, Lee also said Korea will expand trade benefits for Bangladesh products to address a trade imbalance between the two countries.

Lee arrived in the Bangladesh capital Saturday for a three-day visit. He became the first South Korean prime minister to visit the country in 17 years.

“Economic cooperation between the two countries in the past centered on textile and garment sectors. We hope that cooperation will expand in the future to infrastructure, energy, information communication technology and other sectors,” Lee was quoted as saying during the meeting.

Lee praised Hasina’s leadership in achieving more than 6 percent economic growth every year for the past decade, his office said.

He requested Bangladesh’s cooperation to allow more Korean companies to participate in the country’s major projects involving Chittagong Port terminals, diesel electric locomotives and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

Hasina promised to foster a better environment for investment and businesses from foreign countries, including South Korea, calling the Northeast Asian country “an important partner for cooperation.”

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (L) holds a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on July 14, 2019. (Yonhap)

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (L) holds a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on July 14, 2019. (Yonhap)

Trade volume between the two countries was $1.58 billion last year. Korea’s exports and imports stood at $1.24 billion and $340 million, respectively.

She raised the trade imbalance issue and requested Korea to consider allowing the current duty-free and quota-free market access for all Bangladeshi products. Lee replied that Korea will expand such preferential treatment for Bangladesh, his office said.

Hasina also requested Seoul increase the number of Bangladeshis working in Korea under the Employment Permit System. Lee said the government will examine the issue in consideration of various factors, such as companies’ needs. This year’s quota for Bangladesh workers is 3,100.

During his three-day stay, he paid a courtesy call to Bangladesh President Mohammad Abdul Hamid, attended a Korea-Bangladesh business forum and met with volunteers of the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

On Monday, Lee will travel to Tajikistan, the second leg of his four-country trip, and later to Kyrgyzstan and Qatar until this Sunday.

The Daily Star

Saturday, August 3, 2019YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

08:58 PM, July 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:45 PM, July 14, 2019

S Korea keen to boost investment in Bangladesh

The trade between Bangladesh and Korea needs to be increased beyond textile and garment sectors, Nak-yon says the Korea-Bangladesh Business Forum on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo: CollectedStar Online Report

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon today expressed his government’s interest to invest in some emerging sectors of Bangladesh like infrastructure, power, information and communication technology, construction, ship building and energy for boosting business volume of the two countries.

The trade between Bangladesh and Korea needs to be increased beyond textile and garment sectors, Nak-yon said the Korea – Bangladesh Business Forum.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Korea International Trade Association (KITA) jointly organised the forum on the occasion of the three days’ visit of Nak-yon in Bangladesh at a hotel in Dhaka.

Businesses from both the countries, ministers, diplomats, exporters, importers and trade body leaders attended the forum to explore the business opportunities between the two countries.

The visiting prime minister also said some big Korean companies have already invested in Bangladesh, but there is a scope for further business expansion here.

The Daily Star

05:34 PM, July 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:43 PM, July 14, 2019

S Korean PM at PMO; bilateral talks on

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. Photo: CollectedUNB, Dhaka

Bilateral talksbetween Bangladesh and South Korea began at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Dhaka this afternoon.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon are leading their respective sides at the official talks started around 4:40pm.

On arrival of Lee Nak-yon at the Tiger gate of the PMO, Sheikh Hasina received him with a bouquet and then the two leaders moved to the meeting room.

Then both the prime ministers held a tete-tete for some time before joining the bilateral talks.

After the official talks, a number of bilateral instruments on trade, investment and cultural fronts are supposed to be signed in presence of the two prime ministers.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon arrived here on Saturday afternoon on a three-day official visit.

Public Private Partnership Office

MOU Signing Ceremony between PPP Authority and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development

 Posting Date: 1 April, 2019

The signing of MOU between Public Private Partnership Authority, Prime Minister’s Office and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development (KIND), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport, Government of the Republic of Korea took place on 1st April 2019 at Hotel Intercontinental, Dhaka. Government of the Republic of Korea and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh have enjoyed an enduring friendship with each other and this event has brought together all the key stakeholders, which shows the commitment from Korean investors and Bangladesh government agencies on the projects.

The program was set in motion by exhibiting PPPA’s promotional video, which was followed by the welcome speech by Mohammad Alkama Siddiqui, CEO of PPPA. Mr. Hur Kyong Goo, CEO & President of KIND, Kazi M Aminul Islam, Special guest, Executive Chairman of BIDA, Abul Kalam Azad, Special guest, Chief Coordinator of SDG gave their inspirational speeches to make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041. Salman F. Rahman, Private Industry & Investment Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister, the chief guest of the event shared Honorable Prime Minister’s vision about the growth & prosperity of Bangladesh. Sajjadul Hassan, Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office chaired the program and concluded by requesting the investor to step up to the opportunity created by the signing of the MOU.

The Daily Star

Saturday, August 3, 2019YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

12:00 AM, October 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:19 AM, October 18, 2018

Koreans keen on Bangladesh’s infrastructure

Star Business Report

South Korean companies are keen to invest in Bangladesh, particularly in the energy, engineering, infrastructure, food-processing, and electronic sectors, said a top official of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

“Big Korean companies are interested to invest in Bangladesh as Bangladesh is a suitable place for investment as well as Bangladesh has been attaining 6 to 7 percent economic growth over the last six years,” said Jong Won Kim, director general of the agency.

He was addressing a press conference organised by the Korea-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KBCCI) at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka yesterday.

At least 150 Korean companies, including Samsung and LG, have presence in Bangladesh and large companies from South Korea will also come to Bangladesh, according to Kim.

“Bangladesh will be the next destination for the Korean companies for investment as our government is encouraging big companies to invest here.”

The Korean government is providing duty-free access to more than 3,000 products of Bangladesh.

Dong-jun Lee, deputy chief of mission of the Korean embassy in Dhaka, said his country is committed to developing economic relations between the two countries and working to reduce the trade gap with Bangladesh.

He sees a good future for trade and investment between the two nations.

Dong Kon Song, managing director of LG Electronics Bangladesh and vice-president of the KBCCI, said the LG was interested in manufacturing products, particularly refrigerators and smart TVs.

The LG has already established an assembly plant, the initial stage of a manufacturing plant, in Bangladesh, said Song.

The media briefing was organised to announce “Showcase Korea 2018”, which will be held at International Convention City Bashundhara at Purbachal in Dhaka from October 19-20.

The KBCCI and the Korean embassy are jointly organising the two-day show which will be participated by Korean companies and Bangladeshi importers and distributors of Korean products.

Electrical and electronic goods, automobiles, machinery, equipment and accessories, including those of textiles; cosmetics, chemicals, paper, fork-lifts, elevators, generators, food and beverages will be displayed, said Shahab Uddin Khan, senior vice-president of the chamber.

He said the latest electronic products of LG Bangladesh and Samsung Electronics would also be showcased.

Kia Motors, Hyundai Motors and SsangYong Motor will exhibit their latest models of cars. Some Korean companies which do not have offices or agents in Bangladesh are also coming to take part, said organisers.