Lebanon keen to sign PTA to boost trade ties with Bangladesh

Lebanon has expressed its interest to strengthen further the trade ties with Bangladesh through signing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

Bangladesh Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul Motaleb Sarker told the news agency that though Lebanon is a small country, the purchasing capacity of the country’s people is very high and Lebanon has a large affluent society.

Moreover, he said, there is huge demand of various Bangladeshi products in the market of Lebanon.

Ambassador Sarker said the items Bangladesh exports to Lebanon are mostly readymade garments, textiles, jute, batteries, agro products and frozen fish, but Bangladesh can expand its market in pharmaceuticals, ceramic, leather and leather products, electric cables, light engineering, paper and paper products and plastic goods.

“Therefore, there is the scope for enhancing trade relations with Lebanon,” he added.

As per Lebanese Customs Administration, the existing yearly export of Bangladesh to Lebanon is around US$46 million.

Motaleb Sarker said Bangladesh and Lebanon have been enjoying very cordial relations for long. Lebanon was one of the first few countries in the Middle-East to recognize Bangladesh at the early stage of its independence, he mentioned.

Diplomatic relation between Bangladesh and Lebanon was established following Lebanon’s recognition of Bangladesh on 28 March 1973, he said.

He said many investors of Lebanon have expressed their keenness to invest in Bangladesh and a good number of them have already expanded their investment in the country.

“BB Energy and Razor’s Capital have already invested in Bangladesh. BB Energy and Bangladesh’s Runners group have also signed an agreement to produce gas cylinder. Bond Capital International of Lebanon has proposed to invest US$ 1 billion here,” he said.

The ambassador informed that a three-member delegation of the Bond Capital International visited Bangladesh from 22 to 25 April, 2019.

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) are considering actively the investment proposal, he added.

He also informed that, in the last six months, around 10 to 15 businessmen from Lebanon visited Bangladesh. Some renowned Lebanese investors and businessmen are coming to visit Bangladesh this month.

“The embassy has already prepared programs for them in consultation with BIDA and other relevant agencies. More delegations are going to visit Bangladesh soon for exploring investment potential in the country,” the ambassador said from Lebanon.

Motaleb Sarker said, “The investment from Lebanon to Bangladesh is increasing day by day. Different business groups of the two countries are holding discussions regarding 20 to 30 million dollar investment.”

He informed that Bangladesh-Lebanon Business Council is also going to be formed soon to facilitate further economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Bangladesh ambassador said the embassy of Bangladesh is also going to organize a ‘Bangladesh Single Country Trade Fair’ in Beirut at the end of October this year for expanding the market of the Bangladeshi products in that country.

He said the trade fair would encourage business communities of Lebanon and Bangladesh to move ahead and further strengthen the existing economic and trade relations between the two countries.

“The fair would provide a good opportunity to create awareness among the Lebanese businessmen, officials and consumers about Bangladeshi products,” he added.