British prime minister's trade envoy Rushanara Ali on Wednesday said United Kingdom's cooperation to Bangladesh would be continued, even after the implementation of Brexit.
‘As we look forward to a new life called Brexit we need to make sure that relationship remains strong with countries like Bangladesh,’ she told journalists after a meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed this afternoon at the secretariat.
The Bangladeshi born British Member of Parliament (MP), however, said two years would be needed to complete the Brexit. ‘So, there would be renegotiation regarding bilateral relations and trade.’
Referring to the $ 2.45 billion trade and $ 7.5 billion investment deal with Bangladesh, Rushanara said it is showcasing the significance and increased confidence between the two countries in terms of trade relations.
‘We are working together to eliminate investment and trade barrier,’ she added.
Mentioning that they are now three Bangladesh origin British MPs in Parliament, she said it does make a big difference having strong voices in parliament for British Bangladeshi community, business people as well as many others.
Rushanara said nearly half a million British Bangladeshi people are living in the UK and they all are the best Ambassador in making sure the development of UK-Bangladesh relationship.
Recalling her tenure as international development shadow minister and education shadow minister in last parliament, she said: ‘Each time Bangladesh made progress as it is a country of huge talent, dynamic society and educational level, particularly of women because of huge investment. It has really made difference with the help of UK.’
‘I am really delighted to make my government to continue cooperation with Bangladesh in tackling poverty and climate change,’ she added.
UK is the third largest trade partner of Bangladesh after United States and Germany. In fiscal 2015-16, Bangladesh exported $ 3809 million worth of goods to UK while imported goods of $ 276.60 million.
Citing that over 200 organizations of UK is doing business in the country, Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is developing 100 special economic zones (SEZs) and if UK wants to invest here, the government would provide all types of cooperation.
He told the British trade envoy that investment in Bangladesh is legally protected and the foreign investor could bring the money to their country with profit.
The minister also hoped that the Brexit would not hamper Bangladesh-UK trade relations.
Senior commerce secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake were present.