November 29, 2021, 5:04 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2021-09-30 16:08:13 BdST

Dhaka, Abuja for forging trade, partnership in garments and textiles

A delegation of the National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) paid a courtesy visit at the Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja and discussed about the possible ways of forging trade between Bangladesh and Nigeria.

Led by President of the NACCIMA Ide John C. Udeagbala, the delegation members on Wednesday (Sept 29) held discussion with Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria Masudur Rahman on a wide range of issues with special emphasis on enhancing trade between the two countries.

The Bangladesh envoy highlighted the existing friendly relations with Nigeria in various international and regional arenas, as he outlined the growing trade potentials between Bangladesh and Nigeria.

He urged the President of the NACCIMA, the apex chamber body of Nigeria, to work together to tap the possible areas of cooperation which are largely left untapped, especially in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, textiles and garments, contract farming and agro-processing, fertilizers, ICT, livestock, light engineering and electronics, considering the complementarities and priorities of the two economies.

Depicting Bangladesh’s development journey in recent times under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he briefed the President about the ongoing year-long celebratory programme to mark the 100th Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the ‘Golden Jubilee of Independence’ of Bangladesh by the Mission.

The High Commissioner stressed on the need to activate the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber and Commerce of Industries (FBCCI) and the NACCIMA signed on September 29, 2021, which was facilitated by the High Commission so that both the entrepreneurs could play an important role for mutual interest.

High Commissioner Rahman expressed hope that both Bangladesh and Nigeria could finalize the pending MOU on Avoidance of Double Taxation, left with Nigerian side soon.

In that spirit, he urged the NACCIMA President to channel the possibilities of signing an MoU on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment between Bangladesh and Nigeria in near future.

While elaborating on the exportable items of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh High Commissioner invited the Nigerian businessmen and traders to connect entrepreneurs in Bangladesh and import pharmaceuticals, garments and textiles, IT products, leather products, ceramics, light engineering and electronics products etc. from Bangladesh, while considering their competitive price and quality.

Rahman offered all possible cooperation in the areas of enhancing bilateral trade and investment. Stressing on the two-way foreign direct investment, he stressed the need for further business exchanges between the two country’s business leaders to chart out investment projects in the areas, particularly, pharmaceuticals, contract farming, garments and livestock.

Rahman flagged the need for arranging trade mission, organizing webinar and exchanging business directories between the two countries’ apex business bodies.

On his part, the President of the NACCIMA briefly outlined the structure and activities of the NACCIMA - the umbrella body for all City/State/Regional Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, which undertake activities of respective Chambers across all major sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Focusing on the bilateral framework between the two countries, Ide Udeagbala expressed his appreciation over the signing of the MOU between the FBCCI and the NACCIMA, echoing the need for activating it.

He offered support for expediting signing of the MOU on avoidance of double taxation and for floating MOU on reciprocal promotion and protection of investment, while noting that these would help facilitate trade missions, sharing of up-to-date information on viable investment opportunities, products, services, exhibitions, B2B meetings and exchange of project information between both countries in coming days.

Highlighting on the current trade scenario between the two countries, he informed that the private sector operators led by the FBCCI and the NACCIMA could work together to increase the volume of trade and upscale reciprocal promotion of investment between the countries for mutual benefit.

In that respect, he categorically put emphasis on the sectors like agriculture, MSME development in garments, textile and pharmaceuticals, where Bangladeshi entrepreneurs could invest and gain a preferential treatment under the AGOA and other relevant regional and bilateral trading arrangement for Nigeria.

He expressed his keen interest to forge partnership in the areas of garments and textiles as well as poverty alleviation and employment generation projects too.

At the end, the President of the NACCIMA and the delegation visited ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ housed in the High Commission and paid deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

During the meeting, Md. Anisur Rahman, Counsellor (Consular) and Bidosh Chandra Barman, Counsellor (Political) were present, while National President of NACCIMA was accompanied by six high profile members of NACCIMA.

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