South Korea has moved to make Bangladesh’s products visible in their market, its Ambassador in Dhaka says.
Lee Yun-young while hosting a reception on Thursday celebrating their National Day said, in July they had taken a Bangladeshi business delegation there for business meetings.
He hoped such exchanges between business communities would help increase trade and investment.
Bangladesh’s main export item, readymade clothes, is one of the many products that go to Korean market.
“Good news for Bangladesh is that its export to Korea is growing fast,” he said as he portrayed bilateral relations in the last 40 years of diplomatic ties.
Bangladesh is Korea’s ‘priority partner country’ when it comes to the development cooperation as it is the fourth largest recipient of Economic Development Cooperation Fund loan from one of the world’s largest economies.
The Ambassador said the relationship had come a long way since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973.
In the 1970s, Korean entrepreneurs came to Bangladesh and set up garment factories for export, giving the industry a boost.
Now Korean investors were running garment factories with more than 160,000 workers in Bangladesh, accounting for 6 percent of the total exports of Bangladesh, according to the envoy.
Apart from apparel, big companies like Samsung and LG are expanding their commercial presence in Bangladesh while small and medium-sized enterprises are also coming.
It is also building a Korean Export Processing Zone in Chittagong, the first private EPZ in Bangladesh that expects to attract investment of $ 1.3 billion from all over the world.
The two-way trade is now close to $ 2billion, the envoy said. Bangladesh’s export was growing faster than ever before mainly due to duty-free access of Bangladeshi products. The exports have increased drastically – by 75 percent – in 2011 compared with 2010.
Apart from its economic presence, Korea is also stepping up its public diplomacy with Bangladesh. Recently, Seoul appointed Bangladeshi actress Nusrat Imrose Tisha as its Goodwill Ambassador in Dhaka mission.
Apart from politicians, diplomats, businessmen, the National Day reception also drew celebrities as well as cultural personalities together.
Marking the 40 years of diplomatic ties, Korea also organised several cultural shows. A special cultural delegation comprising four leading Korean musicians led by well-known opera singer Park Ra-hyun also mesmerised the Thursday gatherings.
Citing Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Korea is a lamp-bearer in the East”, the envoy said, “If so, Bangladesh is a lamp-bearer in the south. I hope the two lamps will flame together.”
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni also highlighted the bilateral relations and said Koreans had always been “a source of inspiration and pride for us”.
“We in Bangladesh admire the Korean people for the great economic and social fabrics they have registered and believe that Bangladesh can benefit from the Korean development experience.”
She said she would visit Korea on her counterpart’s invitation in coming weeks when she believed “constructive discussions” would further strengthen the relations.
Moni said Korean brands like LG and Samsung were ‘household names’ in Bangladesh.
Source: Bd news24