Korea keen to cooperate in energy, ICT, hi-tech: Lee

Publish: 8:39 PM, July 14, 2019 | Update: 8:39:PM, July 14, 2019

DHAKA,  – South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon today said his country is keen to cooperate Bangladesh in various fields especially energy, infrastructure, ICT and hi-tech sectors to further strengthen trade ties between the two nations.

He made the remark while addressing at Korea-Bangladesh Business Forum under the theme ‘Promoting Business Ties Today: Bringing Mutual Prosperity Tomorrow’, jointly organised by Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at Hotel InterContinental here.

“I hope the Korea-Bangladesh Business Forum will help advance the bilateral relations between the two countries to a new level,” Lee said.

The Korean premier said his country is keen to provide cooperation for setting up hi-tech industries in Bangladesh for manufacturing diverse products here.

He observed that Bangladesh needs to expand its export basket beyond readymade garments and ship building industries.

Referring to various Korean assistances in Bangladesh’s energy and infrastructure arenas, the Korean premier said his country would like to extend more support in those fields.

He said Korea is keen to support in the ICT sector as the digital Bangladesh campaign is the core pillar of Bangladesh’s goal to upgrade itself into a middle income country by 2021.

Lee said Korea will help in setting up more ICT educational institutes here as well as take IT professionals to Korea for increasing their skills by imparting training.

The Korean premier also laid emphasis on utilizing the full potentials of Korean EPZ in Chittagong.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Commerce minister Tipu Munshi, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and KITA chairman and CEO Young Ju Kim also speak on the occasion.

Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Advisor Salman F Rahman and leaders of FBBCI and KITA attended the programme.

Mentioning that South Korean people have been able to turn their country into a developed one within a generation, the industries minister urged the Korean government to recruit more workforce from Bangladesh to help not only to send remittances but also to learn how to achieve the desired development goals.

In his speech, the commerce minister urged the Korean enterprises to invest more in Bangladesh as the country ensures the highest return for its foreign investors.

The FBCCI president termed South Korea an important trade partner of Bangladesh and said the bilateral trade between Dhaka and Seoul stood at about US$ 1.5 billion in the last fiscal year.

“With duty-free, quota-free market access to 90.4 percent of our tariff line to Korea, bilateral trade prospects are promising,” he added.

South Korea’s Super Petrochemical has proposed investments worth US$ 2.38 billion in petrochemicals which will positively contribute towards investment relations between the two countries, he said.

The FBCCI and KITA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen economic and commercial relations.

Bangladesh exported goods of a total amount of US $ 293.69 million to South Korea in 2018-19 while import volume was US $ 981.20 million.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon arrived here on Saturday on a three-day official visit for strengthening bilateral ties and exploring new avenues of trade relations.