Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Many things can be achieved thru' partnership: Erdogan

Visiting Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday said the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Turkey might increase to US$ 3.0 billion from the existing less than $1.0 billion by 2015 with exploration of potential.
"We might increase our bilateral trade to $3.0 billion by 2015 through trade partnership between business communities of the two countries," the Turkish prime minister (PM) said at a luncheon meeting hosted by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at a hotel in the city.
Erdogan, along with his entourage, was on a two-day official visit to the country. Earlier in February, Turkish president Abdullah Gul visited Bangladesh
Deputy prime minister of Turkey Ali Babacan and other members of the prime minister's entourage participated in the meeting.
FBCCI president A.K. Azad presided over the meeting, while finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith addressed it.
"We can achieve many things in terms of expanding trade and commerce through partnership," said the Turkish prime minister.
Dhaka-Ankara trade volume rose to $742 million in 2010 from only $47 million in 2002, he said adding that the two countries achieved an increased trade balance despite the global financial meltdown.
Turkish prime minister referred to Bangladesh's goal of transforming itself into a middle-income country by 2021 and said Turkey has also a target to become among the top ten economies of the world by 2023.
"Our economy is growing at record level as in the last six months our growth has increased by 11 per cent," said Erdogan.
He said faster development in tourism sector and better credit rating have contributed largely to achieving a double-digit growth.
Regarding corruption, Turkish prime minister said a country could achieve higher economic growth "if there is no corruption and it fights against poverty."
"I can see Bangladesh has higher prospects in the near future as the government of the country has taken several sincere steps," he said.
The Turkish PM favoured renewal of the promotion and protection of investments to boost trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Turkey.
Finance minister AMA Muhith stressed the need for trade reciprocity between the two countries.
He also pointed out that Bangladesh has two bottlenecks, i.e. transportation and energy, which must be resolved.
The finance minister looked forward to the launching of Dhaka-Ankara direct flight as a milestone and said it would be instrumental to the strengthening of trade ties.
FBCCI president A.K. Azad said Bangladesh's major potential sectors are textiles, tourism, energy, construction, natural gas-based industries, telecommunications, fisheries, electronics, light engineering and computer software and data entry.
The FBCCI chief said Bangladesh has a target to attain 8.0 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2013.
AK Azad said trade between Turkey and Bangladesh is increasing quite satisfactorily and "we expect to reach the one billion-dollar mark soon."
Administration affairs adviser to the Bangladesh prime minister -- HT Imam, economic affairs adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, commerce minister Faruk Khan and press secretary to the prime minister -- Abul Kalam Azad, president of International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh, Mahbubur Rahman, FBCCI board of directors and other business personalities were present at the luncheon programme.

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