Synergistic Relationships Prevail Between Qatar And Bangladesh
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Qatar and the Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ) hosted the “Made in Bangladesh” exhibition on Tuesday, 28 January 2020 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Doha. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank was a Keynote speaker at the Seminar on Bangladesh – Qatar Relations: Untapped Potentials which happened at the event He spoke on “Growing opportunities between Qatar and Bangladesh.”
The dignitaries at the event include Mr. Iftekhar Ahmad, Group CFO, Ali –Bin Ali Group, Qatar, His Excellency Ashud Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the State of Qatar Mr. Yousuf Al-Jaida, CEO and Board Member, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), His Excellency Salman F Rahman, Hon’ble Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Mr. Yousuf Saeed, President of the Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ).
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Global Economy. He said “According to IMF Jan 2020 outlook, Global growth is projected to rise to 3.3 percent in 2020. Advanced economies are expected to grow at 1.6 percent in 2020. The emerging market and developing economy group, growth is expected to grow by 4.4 percent in 2020. On the positive side, market sentiment has been boosted by tentative signs that manufacturing activity and global trade are bottoming out, a broad-based shift toward accommodative monetary policy, intermittent favorable news on US-China trade negotiations, and diminished fears of a no-deal Brexit. Downside risks, however, remain prominent, including rising geopolitical tensions.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Bangladesh Economy. He said “Bangladesh economy is expected to grow by 7.5% in 2020. In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the total budget was 62 bn US$. The overall budget deficit is five percent of GDP. Bangladesh gives priority to boost exports and at the same time also focus on its internal demand. About $15-$16 billion remittances come to Bangladesh per year. This is a major strength. Bangladesh always have foreign currency reserves of six to eight months. Qatar has about 400,000 Bangladeshis and are an important source of remittance to Bangladesh. Road, rail, river and air transport and telecommunication systems will be expanded according to Vision 2021. Bangladesh has done an impressive job in reducing poverty over the last decades and has the potential to end extreme poverty by 2030.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar – Bangladesh bilateral trade relationships. He said “Qatar trade is above $1bn in 2018-19 and overall gulf trade is close to $5bn in 2018-19. Major export Item of Bangladesh to Qatar include Woven Garments, Knitwear, Home Textile, Agri-Product, Frozen Food, Leather and Leather Product, Footwear, Raw Jute, Jute Goods. Major import item of Bangladesh from Qatar include LNG,Live animals; animal products, Prepared foodstuffs, Mineral products, Plastics and rubber articles thereof , Pulp of wood products , Textiles and textile articles , Base metals and articles of base metal , Machinery & mechanical appliances; electrical equipment. In 2018, Qatar has begun regular shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Bangladesh, since April 2018 has been delivering 2.5 million tonnes per annum Sale and Purchase Agreement with Petrobangla. The recent bilateral trade between Qatar and Bangladesh has surged on account of LNG exports from Qatar.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar – Bilateral investment relationships. He said “Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ) has selected potential sectors to expand bilateral trade and investment relations between Bangladesh and Qatar. Bangladesh counterpart is working to increase the trade and investment relationship between the two friendly nations. They have already selected different potential sectors in this regard. The sectors are agro product, battery or cable or power, cement, ceramic, fashion outlet, fintech or ICT or software, fisheries and meat, food and beverage, furniture, leather, pharmaceutical, plastic, real estate, school or hospital or clinic, shipbuilding, textile or jute, toiletries and tourism. The current open market sourcing environment in Qatar poses a unique opportunity to Bangladeshi exporters to gain market share as well as getting investments back into country. The Qatari government is providing strong support for commercial activities and business through different agencies. Many Qatari investors are showing interest to invest in Bangladesh’s different sectors as the government of the country is providing all sorts of support to the investors.“