12 May 2022, 18:29

Momen seeks Korea's support in improving 'doing business' 

DHAKA, May 12, 2022 (BSS) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today sought 
Seoul's support in improving "ease of doing business'' as currently South 
Korea is ranked the 4th in doing business index while Dhaka has been striving 
to elevate the trade to attract more foreign investment. 
"While we (Bangladesh and South Korea) are observing the 50 years of 
bilateral relations, our South Korean friends may let us know how we do 
better in ease of doing business," he said. 

Improvement in easing doing business is one of the challenges in implementing 
Dhaka's economic diplomacy ahead of Bangladesh's formal graduation to middle-
income country status from the least developed countries (LDC) group by 2026. 
The minister was addressing a seminar titled, "50 years of Korea-Bangladesh 
Relationship" at the foreign service academy that showcased and discussed the 
study of Dhaka University on the past, present and future of the Korea-
Bangladesh relationship in various areas of cooperation. 
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun and Bangladesh Ambassador 
to South Korea Delwar Hossain also spoke as the special guests. 

In his speech, Dr Momen also urged Seoul to share their knowledge in the 
completion of development projects in due time as South Korea is globally 
ranked as the number one country in 'completion of contracts' while delay in 
project completion is a common phenomenon in Bangladesh. 

The foreign minister thanked the South Korean government's humanitarian 
support for the distressed Rohingyas and also for support at various 
international forums, including the UN General Assembly on this issue. 

Momen noted that South Korea has a very good relationship with Myanmar as in 
the last few years the Korean investment package in Myanmar has been pretty 
Considering this, the foreign minister urged South Korea to take an extra 
initiative to put active action so that displaced Rohingyas can return to 
their homeland in Myanmar soon. 
"You (South Korea) have some leverage on Myanmar, therefore, I request you to 
use that leverage (on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation)," Momen said. 

The minister said on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral 
relations, Dhaka is keen to elevate the ties with Seoul to new heights, 
forging a deeper comprehensive economic partnership based on common 
priorities with long-term perspectives. 
"As we cross the milestone of fifty years of friendship, I am confident that 
together we can build a peaceful and prosperous future for all," he said. 
Noting that South Korea is one of the major trading partners of Bangladesh 
with 1.5 billion US dollars in bilateral trade, Momen appreciated the South 
Korean government for preferential market access to Bangladeshi products 
covering 95 per cent of tariff lines. 
"We hope that the South Korean government would continue to extend 
preferential market access to our products even after 2026 so that bilateral 
trade may continue to grow with a favourable balance of trade between our two 
friendly countries," he said. 
He said Bangladesh is one of the largest recipients of the South Korean soft 
loan as a priority partner country for ODA and hoped to remain a priority 
partner country even beyond its formal graduation to a developing country in 
Momen said Korea is the fifth-largest FDI source country for Bangladesh with 
an accumulated FDI stock of over US$ 1.3 billion while currently, more than 
150 Korean companies have a significant presence in Bangladesh. 
Besides, he said, Bangladesh authorities and South Korean private investors 
have selected four infrastructure projects worth over US$ 10 billion for 
implementation under the PPP model. 
"We are hopeful that South Korean private investments in our infrastructure 
sector would further improve our economic landscape to tap the potentials 
beckoning us beyond 2026," he said. 

The foreign minister said Dhaka highly appreciates South Korea's recent 
adoption of a climate roadmap to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy 
and its commitment to helping the developing countries in their transition to 
low-carbon economies. 
 Md Ali Siddiquee, Md Anwarul Azim and Aditi Chakrovorty of Dhaka University 
(DU) presented separate papers while the Economic Relations Division 
additional secretary Md Shahriar Kader Siddiky, BIISS research director Dr 
Mahfuz Kabir and Associate professor of DU's Mass Communication and 
journalism department Dr Saiful Hoque discussed on the presentation. 

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