Bangladesh-Germany trade reaches $4bn

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The two-way trade between Bangladesh and Germany has increased by 80 percent over the last three years, the President of the Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) has said.

Shakhawat Abu Khair said with the increase in volume of trade, the BGCCI has also become the biggest Chamber in Bangladesh within its 10 years of inception. The Chamber inducted its 400th member, Robert Bosch Bangladesh Limited, on Friday night in a colourful ceremony.

The current bilateral trade a year between the two countries is more than $4 billion, which is dominated by Bangladesh’s exports worth $3.5 billion. The trade figure was close to $2.5 billion in 2009 when the Chamber had only 69 members.

“We are growing fast,” Khair has said. “Many German companies are active in Bangladesh in sectors like trade finance, logistics, energy and transport.” He said duty free access made European Union ‘an attractive market’ for Bangladesh with its more than 50 percent export products going to the region.

The readymade garment is the key export sector, despite the fact that Bangladesh has the opportunity to diversify the market with ships, footwear and leather goods.

The IT services still remained untapped, he said.

Khair said German expertise can also contribute in the fields of ‘high-end engineering, healthcare, vocational training, renewable energy and green tech.’

Executive Director of the Chamber, Daniel Seidl, said a high-level delegation of the Association of German Chamber of Commerce and Industry was supposed to visit Bangladesh in March in recognition of the Bangladesh-German Chamber activities, but they shelved the plan because of recent political situation.

He said they were expected to visit Dhaka on Jun 14.

German Embassy’s Charge d affaires Ralph Reusch told the businessmen ‘don’t get frustrated easily, rather think positively’ despite various limitations.

Citing UNDP reports, he said despite traffic congestion on the streets and harsher political programmes like shutdowns, Bangladesh has been highlighted in the list of 18 countries that have made rapid progress in human development.

The leading global supplier of technology and services, Bosch Group has been active in Bangladesh for 20 years with its distributor.

To consolidate their market, they have planned direct investment in Bangladesh and in October last year set up the company named Robert Bosch Bangladesh Limited with initial investment Tk 100 million.

Its Managing Director Ajay Shahney told bdnews24.com that the investment was part of their expanding business in Bangladesh.

“We were selling automotive market equipment and power tools (through distributors). But now we are expanding much more to other divisions of Bosch. We are (now) bringing security technology products, also bringing in thermo technology products, and in due course other divisions will come,” he said.

He said they would invest more to have ‘a solid operation’ in Bangladesh.

Germany is the second largest export market of Bangladesh.

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