Switzerland and Bangladesh hold talks on trade and economic issues

Press releases, 18.11.2020

The second meeting between the Inter-agency Committee of Bangladesh and Switzerland was held in Dhaka on 18 November 2020. The Inter-agency Committee was formed by the Government of Bangladesh in September 2018 with the aim to review and address challenges of Swiss businesses and investors in Bangladesh, and to promote trade and investment between the two countries. The first Inter-agency Committee meeting took place in April 2019. 

The Bangladeshi delegation was led by Dr. Md. Jafar Uddin, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce. Ambassador Erwin Bollinger, the Swiss Federal Council’s Delegate for Trade Agreements and Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, led the Swiss delegation and joined the meeting via videoconference from Bern, Switzerland. The Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh, Ms. Nathalie Chuard, also attended the meeting, which was held at the Ministry of Commerce in Dhaka.

Both parties welcomed the positive developments of bilateral trade and investment, explored ways to further strengthen business relations, presented respective trade and investment promotion measures, reviewed specific company issues and discussed the overall business climate in Bangladesh.

Highlighting the prospects of further economic cooperation, Ambassador Bollinger said: “Our bilateral economic relations are good and mutually profitable, with a positive trend observed over the past years”. The Commerce Secretary, Dr. Md Jafar Uddin, also expressed Bangladesh’s wish to further intensify the promising trade and investment dynamics.

Despite various challenges related to ease of doing business as well as COVID-19, Swiss companies continue to see promising potential in the Bangladeshi market. Economic relations between Switzerland and Bangladesh, therefore, are growing rapidly. According to Swiss statistics, bilateral trade has more than tripled since 2010 and stood at around $850 million last year. Most of the major Swiss multinational companies as well as a number of small and medium enterprises are present in Bangladesh.