24 Jun 2021, 21:12

Bangladesh-Singapore can team up to produce halal food: Tipu

DHAKA, June 24, 2021 (BSS) - Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today said halal food products could carve out a $2.6 trillion share in the international market by 2023, and Bangladesh is capable of grabbing a sizable chunk of this business.

Tipu said that Bangladesh could forge a partnership with Singapore and utilise their technological support to meet South and South-East Asia's demand for such products. "This partnership will also help foster mutual recognition, and ensure certification and quality," he added.

Tipu Munshi, at a discussion with Singapore's Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran, said Bangladesh is working to diversify its products, and it would benefit greatly from Singapore's experience with making international trade deals.

Addressing the virtual event titled "Spotlight Bangladesh," Iswaran also expressed his interest in forming a partnership with Bangladesh to produce halal food here, sharing experience on executing trade agreements, and boosting investments in the country.

During the discussion, Tipu Munshi further said Bangladesh, aiming to strengthen its position in the international trade arena in accordance with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Vision 2021, has increased its paperless trade capabilities.

"Our businessmen are now reaping the benefits of digital Bangladesh. The country is creating new job sectors and employment opportunities by increasing its ICT capabilities in agriculture, education, health, economy, industry and business sectors," Tipu said.

He mentioned that Bangladesh is looking to sign trade agreements such as FTA and PTA with different countries so that it can secure some trade advantages after graduating from the LDC status in 2026.

He said Singapore has signed a lot of such deals, and Bangladesh will greatly benefit if the island-state shares this experience. This knowledge will help Bangladesh with negotiations when it makes more trade deals in the coming days.

Adding that Bangladesh is one of the 20 countries that have been making steady progress in the ease of doing business ranking, the commerce minister said, "The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is working with ministries and divisions concerned to ease the investment process here."

"This move will help both local and foreign investors by creating a more trade-friendly environment in Bangladesh. We have created an opportunity to tie up all related procedures online. We also launched a one stop service to speed up the process," added the minister.

He continued, "Under the commerce ministry, services provided by import and export offices, joint stock companies and firms, and the Export Promotion Bureau have been digitised. The National Board of Revenue has launched the National Single Window project to ease the export process.

The "Spotlight Bangladesh" webinar was jointly organised by Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Manufacturers' Association, Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore, BIDA, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, and Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore.

Along with Singapore's Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran, SBF South Asia Business Group's Vice-Chairman Proson Mukherjee also spoke at the event. The webinar was moderated by BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam.

FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin, Summit Power International Ltd Managing Director and CEO Ayesha Aziz Khan, South Asia and Middle East PSA's Regional CEO Wan Shi Fong, Marketers' Institute Bangladesh's Board Member Asif Iqbal and Grameenphone Accelerator's Chief Minhaz Anwar addressed the programme as panelists.

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