BD seeks expanded trade relations with Philippines

The Bangladesh Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BPCCI), in cooperation with Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), held its first seminar on doing business with the Philippines at the DCCI auditorium on February 26. The seminar was an offshoot of the successful trade visit of BPCCI to Manila from January 18 to 22.

bd-philipinesBangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, MP was present as chief guest. Addressing a number of business experts and leaders in the country, Minister Ahmed expressed hope for greater bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and the Philippines saying, “Both countries have all the potentials to expand bilateral trade, but the major problem is the absence of connectivity.” He added that his ministry had started discussions with the civil aviation ministry in the country on exploring direct air connectivity with the Philippines.

In his keynote speech, Philippine Ambassador to Bangladesh Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo shared the same optimism for the Philippines-Bangladesh relationship. He expressed confidence in the experience and expertise that make up the BPCCI and reiterated the Philippine Government’s assurance, through the concerted efforts of the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Trade Investment Center in India, of ‘full deployment of its resources’ in obtaining stronger economic alliance between the two countries.

Other speakers at the seminar stressed the need for negotiation on trade tariff facility, exchange of knowledge on technical education, skills training and small-and-medium enterprise development and increased two-way trade on medicine, garments, electronics, motor vehicle parts and Halal-certified food products.

Over 100 guests representing the international and business communities, government and media attended the seminar.

Highlighted also in the program was BPCCI’s formal inauguration led by Commerce Minister Ahmed. He was joined by Ambassador Bandillo, Consul General Lomondot, Mr. Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Mr. Mahbubur Rahman, president of the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICC) in Bangladesh, Mr. Hossain Khaled, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the BPCCI board of directors. (DFA)