Home Foreign Trade Growing trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh – OpEd – Eurasia Review

Growing trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh – OpEd – Eurasia Review


Bangladesh and Pakistan together account for 5% of the world’s population. The possibilities of market value in case of export and import between these two states are inevitably enormous. But the trade between the two countries of 39 million people is now only 6 to 7 hundred million dollars. This is a very small share of both countries’ exports. In 2019-20, only 50 million goods moved from Bangladesh to Pakistan. It has the potential to grow exponentially. The industrial sector of both countries has grown considerably over the past 50 years. The previous generation of industrialists knew the details of each other’s people and markets. The next generation of industrialists is unable to capitalize on this historical experience due to a lack of political action.

India and China have been in the midst of a war frenzy for a year. But in the meantime, he has done business worth around $109 billion. The example of Pakistan-India is perhaps more relevant in this regard. The two countries exchange gunfire every week. There were three full-scale battles between them. But in the meantime, they sell products. In the fiscal year 2019-2020, goods worth US$300 million moved from India to Pakistan. Last year it was almost four times as much. They can revert to the previous state in the future. If Pakistan and India can continue to trade despite the fragile political relationship, Bangladesh can do the same with both countries. You must be able. Building a market in South Asia is becoming increasingly urgent for Bangladesh to escape Euro-American political caution.

Pakistan has put Bangladeshis on the visa priority list since 2019. Both countries can facilitate boosting export trade. This will increase the market for jute, tea and tobacco in Bangladesh, Pakistan will also increase exports of yarn, sugar etc. However, in order to make the current trade balance more favorable to Bangladesh, policy support from Pakistan is needed. After a long break, Pakistan has already shown its diplomatic interest in developing relations by sending an ambassador to Bangladesh. They must go further. Islamabad has a heavy responsibility to heal the historical wounds of Bangladesh. Many Pakistani policymakers want Bangladesh to forget the 1971 war of independence and move on. But it is not easy for Bangladesh; Not even possible. It would be rather convenient to quickly solve the problems raised by the seventy-first chapter. It is high time for Pakistan to wake up to the situation. These are not to be avoided. Pakistan wants to increase its trade relations with Bangladesh. The Canadian-based International Forum for Rights and Security, a think tank, recently released a report on Bangladesh and Pakistan. It was shown that Bangladesh leads in all areas of the index. Many Western economists have called on all countries to follow Bangladesh’s model in developing South Asia.

According to Bangladeshi media, Bangladesh Trade Minister Tipu Munshi said that Pakistan wants to strengthen trade and economic ties by maintaining good relations with Bangladesh on January 26, 2021. He said there were problems in some areas of trade with Pakistan. If they are removed, the trade will increase further. Both countries have enormous potential to increase trade and commerce. This opportunity can be used. He made the remarks during an exchange of views with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Dhaka Imran Ahmed Siddiqui at his office in Dhaka on Wednesday, January 26, 2021.

Bangladesh’s trade minister said Bangladesh’s trade with Pakistan continues. Tea, pharmaceuticals, ready-made garments, ceramic products, footwear, leather and jute products are exported from Bangladesh to Pakistan.

It is possible to further increase these exports. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is making rapid progress in all areas, including economic and social. The development of Bangladesh is now visible. Bangladesh’s capacity for international trade has grown.

He said Pakistan had recently imposed anti-dumping on hydrogen peroxide exports. Such measures hinder the development of trade. Any existing problem can be solved through discussion. Problems can be identified and resolved at a Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting between the two countries. Traders have an important role to play in increasing trade. Traders can increase their trade by visiting each other’s countries. The necessary cooperation can be granted in this case.

Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui said the Pakistani government wants to move forward in developing trade relations with Bangladesh. There are many opportunities to strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries. Pakistan is keen to strengthen trade and economic ties while maintaining good relations between the two countries. Ceramic products made in Bangladesh are widely used in various government departments in Pakistan.

Envoy Imran called for visas for visits to Bangladesh to be facilitated for Pakistanis for personal and business purposes and for direct Dhaka-Karachi communication to be introduced for transporting goods. He also called for a one-stop national fair for Bangladeshi products in Pakistan and highlighted the holding of the 9th Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting.

In the last fiscal year 2019-2020, Bangladesh exported goods worth. 50.54 million in Pakistan. During the same period, it imported goods worth US$543.90 million. If trade complexities are removed in some cases, the export of Bangladeshi products to the Pakistani market will further increase. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh for the year 2020-21 was $721.67 million. Of which Pakistan’s exports to Bangladesh at that time were $650.21 million while imports stood at $71.45 million. Bangladesh is one of the top 10 export destinations for Pakistani products. (Data is collected from various media reports).

According to recent media reports (based on State Bank Of Pakistan data), Pakistan’s trade in goods and services with Bangladesh registered a surplus of 46.65% in the first six months of the financial year (2021-22) compared to the corresponding period of last year. year. Overall exports to Bangladesh were recorded at $399.408 million in July-December (2021-22) against exports of $274.246 million in July-December (2020-21), showing a growth of 45.63%, revealed the SBP data. Meanwhile, year-on-year, exports to Bangladesh in December 2021 also increased by 52.01% from US$54.433 million to US$82.746 million. Similarly, on a month-to-month basis, Bangladesh’s exports increased by 14.38% in December 2021 compared to exports of US$72.339 million in November 2021, according to SBP data.

It is true that Bangladesh and Pakistan are enjoying growing business relations. Pakistan can export cotton, yarn, fabric, leather, inorganic chemicals, vegetables and electronics (fan), halal food to Bangladesh. There is a high demand for these products in Bangladesh. On the other hand, Bangladesh can export its medicines, clothes, agricultural products, halal foods, ceramics, etc. world class. Bangladesh can benefit from the use of Pakistan’s port of Gwadar and China-run CPEC. Bangladeshi products can be exported to Central Asia and imported from the region easily. As a result, Pak-BD links would increase further. The two sides can also work to promote cooperation in the fields of science and technology, information technology, health care, digital cooperation, SMEs [Small and medium-sized enterprises] development, tourism, etc. Bangladesh has extensive experience in refugee management, combating climate change, combating terrorism, human resource development. Pakistan has experience in the religious tourism sector. The two countries can exchange these advantages.

According to some media reports and Central Bank of Pakistan data, in the first three months of the current financial year, the trade volume between Bangladesh and Pakistan is increasing day by day. Bangladesh is now at the top of Pakistan’s foreign trade list. Although having some political problems between Pakistan and Bangladesh, bilateral relations between the two South Asian countries are growing. According to these reports, trade between Bangladesh and Pakistan in the goods and services sector increased by about 37% (36.90%) in the first three months of FY 2021-22 compared to the last year. Pakistan’s imports from Bangladesh have increased by about 44% (43.96%) this year. From July to September of the 2020-21 financial year, Pakistan imported goods worth just over $12 million. Which amounted to 17 million at the time of the 2021-22 financial year. It is true that bilateral trade is increasing between Bangladesh and Pakistan. Pakistan and Bangladesh are expected to reap the rewards of expanding trade relations.

However, there are many potentials in the economic relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan. But this should be done by the government of Pakistan for its own sake. Because they need the help and support of Bangladesh to revive their fragile economy and raise various regional issues in all international forums. The sooner the Pakistani government realizes this, the better for them. Pakistan and Bangladesh can benefit from growing trade relations.