Istanbul Chamber of Industry Organized Bangladesh Country Day
Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) organized a country day event for Bangladesh, one of the rising economies of South Asia. During the event, a seminar titled “Bangladesh Country Day & Trade and Investment Opportunities” hosted by İrfan Özhamaratlı, Vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of ICI via video-conferencing. Mosud Mannan, ambassador of Bangladesh in Ankara and Mustafa Osman Turan, ambassador of Türkiye in Dakka also participated in the seminar. Many businesspeople and industrialists wishing to have more detailed information about the economic activities in the country also participated in the event.
İrfan Özhamaratlı, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICI made a speech during the opening of the event and said that the countries in the Asian region strengthened their competition with the rest of the world by producing added value through pursuing policies focused on technology and R&D and by means of regional economic integration. Mr. Özhamaratlı drew attention to the fact that Asia became the production centre of the world and will occupy a significant place in the future of the world economy and global trade with its economic development and dynamism. He added that the rapid development of the region was followed closely by the entire world. Özhamaratlı reminded that Türkiye attached importance to carrying its commercial and diplomatic cooperations beyond Europa and neighbouring countries in the recent years. “Under the scope of our multi-dimensional foreign policy approach called “Asia again”, the development of dialogue between Türkiye and the Asian countries in trade, investment, education, defence industry, technology, culture and politics has a crucial importance” he said.
“Bangladesh which is one of the key partners of Türkiye in the New Asia Initiative with its vivid economy and young population is one of the important actors in the region with its economic growth rate and strategic importance. A look into the economic relations between the two countries shows that their trade volume has been approximately 918 million USD in 2020, and this figure corresponded to an increase of approximately 14% compared to the previous year but was far from being enough, taking into consideration the trade potential between the two countries.”
Mr. Özhamaratlı underlined the fact that with its increasing importance in the global economy, the Asian Pacific region has a big economic and commercial potential and stated that the big development move currently undertaken by Bangladesh offered significant investment opportunities for the industrialists. “With our quality products and competitive prices, Turkish companies have a chance of acquiring a significant place in the industrial sector of Bangladesh, particularly in the machinery, electrical equipment and iron-steel sectors.”
Özhamaratlı continued: “The direct capital investments from Türkiye to Bangladesh has significantly increased and especially companies in the textile, energy and durable household sectors accelerated their investments in that country in the recent past. The direct flights to Dakka, capital of Banglasdesh, launched by Turkish Airlines in 2020 is an indicator of the big importance that they attach to this country”.
Later, Mustafa Osman Turan, ambassador of Türkiye in Dakka explained the important developments taking place in the relations between Türkiye and Bangladesh. He drew attention to the fact that the stability of, and enhanced level in the political relations, are also reflected in the economic relations and pointed out to the increased trade volume despite the pandemic. “An increase of up to 24% was attained in foreign trade this year and we aim at increasing the total trade volume to USD 2 billion”.
Mr. Turan said that the name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was given to many places in Bangladesh as a sign of the deep culture ties between the two countries and added that the Bangladeshi people closely followed the developments in Türkiye. He described Bangladesh as a country of opportunities and added that the textile sector is very strong and serious investments were made in all technological fields as well. Mr. Turan said that there are vast opportunities also in the health sector and called businesspeople to make investments in this country.
Mosud Mannan, ambassador of Bangladesh in Ankara, said that the approach of the political leaderships at the highest level of both countries paved the way for increasing the commercial and economic relations between the two countries. He told that he had the chance to visit many cities for the purpose of increasing the relations between the two countries, and that 44 Bangladeshi businessmen visited Istanbul for the purpose of tourism investments. Reminding that Bangladeshi people extended big support for the independence war of Turkish people, he added that the 50th Anniversary of the independence of their country was celebrated in 2021.
Mr. Mannan said that that they are satisfied with their economic progress and wanted to remove the poverty in the country. “We aim at being a developed country by 2041. Mega infrastructural projects and administrative reforms are under way, and we want to raise the educational level, ensure progress in social life and increase life expectancy” he said. “We have been successful not only in textile but also in the sectors including minerals, fuels, boilers, machinery, iron-steel and electronic goods. é cooperation could be developed in the software sector between the two countries. The investment development institution of Bangladesh would continue supporting businesspeople”.
Mr. Mannan’s speech was followed by a detailed presentation about the economy of Bangladesh made by Mr. Kenan Kalaycı, commercial counsellor of Turkish Ministry of Trade in Dakka during the panel titled Trade, Cooperation and Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh. Mr. Kalaycı said that Bangladesh had a population of 165 million and an economy with a volume of 324 billion dollars, and added that the country has maintained a stable inflation rate of around 5% for long years.
“Hard coal, machinery parts and raw cotton are the main import items of our country and the readymade garments and shoes are the main export items” said Kalaycı. “USA, Germany, England, Spain and France are the main export markets of our country, while China, India, USA, Indonesia and Japan are the main import countries”.
Ercüment Polat, Vice-Chairman of Turkish – Bangladesh Business Council (DEIK); Kemal Urhan, CEO of Cryocan, and Mehmet Hakan Tüzün, LC Waikiki’s Regional Director for Bangladesh – India – Pakistan, shared their experiences in the Bangladeshi market during the panel titled “Experiences of the Companies Doing Business in Bangladesh” that took place under the moderatorship of Mehmet Akif Meral, Assistant Manager of the Branch of EU and International Relations of ICI. After the panel, the participants answered the questions of the audience.