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Dhaka-Ankara bilateral ties

The New Nation, Bangladesh

Dhaka-Ankara bilateral ties

17 April 2006

THE official visit of the Prime Minister to Turkey has reportedly been quite productive. The Prime Minister of Turkey not only hosted the Bangladesh leader but also highlighted the need for augmenting bilateral relations in different fields. Members of the Bangladesh delegation raised different issues and interacted with their counterparts. The scope of augmenting bilateral trade was given priority. Along with that the mutual cooperation in the field of education, culture and sports was highlighted. A proposal for duty free access of Bangladeshi products was also considered in bilateral meetings. The need for bilateral deals on trade and investment have also been underscored in course of discussion between the Prime Ministers and members of delegations. Both these countries have identical heritage in matters of faith. Bangladesh and Turkey are members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).

As highlighted by the Foreign Secretary who was a member of the delegation, the issues relating to economic cooperation and cultural exchange programmes were given due importance. To achieve those priority goals, the existing ties have to be strengthened with more practical and pragmatic programmes of action. The two Prime Ministers at a joint press conference in Ankara, highlighted the need for furthering bilateral deals. It is all the more needed for containing the after-effects of the globalisation process, as the major economic powers withdraw provision of preferential treatment to countries like Bangladesh.

The proposed Joint Economic Commission must be made effective with the setting up of offices in the two capitals and holding of its meetings on a quarterly basis. The prevailing issues in the field of trade and investment may thus be reviewed and corrective measures taken by the two friendly countries. The favourable environment of investment in Bangladesh may have to be brought to the notice of investors in Turkey. Infrastructure facilities, the export processing zones, where many other countries have already set up their factories, would be available for use by Turkish investors. Bangladesh may increase export of ceramics, pharmaceutical products, leather goods to Turkey at competitive prices.

Investors from both these countries may go for joint venture in agro-based industries as well as the transport sector. Products of joint venture industries may be exported to the respective neighbouring countries in Europe and Asia. The overall growth rate of the economies of these two friendly countries may thus be augmented in the coming years.