The government has taken initiatives to narrow trade gap with Singapore and Hong Kong (HK) by increasing volume of trade and investment, officials said.
The ministry of commerce (MoC) has started the process following recent visits of the commerce minister to Singapore and HK.
There is a huge potential to increase the country's exports to Singapore and HK that could help reduce the existing trade gap with them.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed visited HK from February 28 to March 2 last and Singapore on March 20, 2017 aiming to increase trade and investment with the two countries.
He offered investment opportunities to Singaporean and HK entrepreneurs in the country's special economic zones.
The investors of Singapore and HK have expressed their interest to invest in pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, leather and leather goods, furniture and frozen food sectors in Bangladesh, according to the MoC.
The investment friendly policy of the government has also encouraged investors of HK to invest nearly half a billion dollars in the export processing zones in recent years.
"We (MoC) have taken initiatives to increase trade with Singapore and Hong Kong considering huge business potential there," acting secretary of the MoC Subhashish Bose told the FE.
He said the MoC will now mainly focus on increasing the country's exports to Singapore and HK.
Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hong Kong (BCCI, HK) started its functioning in March last with the task of increasing the country's exports to HK.
Besides, the Bangladesh embassy in Singapore is gearing up its efforts to increase exports to the city- state located in South-East Asia, according to the MoC.
Bangladesh exports medicines, leather and leather goods, readymade garments, and cotton etc to Singapore and HK.
Bangladesh exported to Singapore goods worth US$ 164.70 million and imported goods valued at $1,965.60 million during the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16.
Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Bangladesh has also been increasing over the years.
Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 214.13 million to HK and imported goods valued at $1.00 billion during the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16.