In the midst of global uncertainties, Bangladesh has consistently demonstrated resilience and economic prowess over the past two decades. Fueled by a robust demographic dividend, a thriving ready-made garment (RMG) industry, steadfast remittance inflows, and a foundation of stable macroeconomic conditions, the nation has earned commendation on the international stage. Recently, Member of Parliament Chandra Arya’s address to the Canadian Parliament not only acknowledged Bangladesh’s remarkable economic progress but also emphasized the imperative for Western democracies, including Canada, to strengthen ties with the South Asian nation.
“This is required to ensure that Bangladesh achieves much-required economic growth,” he said in parliament.
You can also read: Development Marvel: Jononetri Sheikh Hasina
This remarkable speech is a matter of pride for Bangladeshi to appreciate the progress of Bangladesh in the Parliament of Canada.
In the parliament, Arya conveyed his sentiments during a parliamentary address following his recent trip to Dhaka, where he engaged in substantive discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other government officials. His visit extended beyond official meetings, encompassing visits to Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, and a church, where he interacted with leaders from various religious minority communities and prominent business figures.
He also pointed out the significant role of foreign investment in infrastructure projects, particularly in special economic zones, which is not only contribute to the economic boost but also generate much-needed employment opportunities.
MP Chandra further conveyed, “Bangladesh has experienced substantial economic growth over the past few years, characterized by stability and certainty. The nation has successfully elevated millions of its citizens out of poverty, and the infusion of foreign investment into key infrastructure initiatives, such as Special Economic Zones, is actively enhancing the country’s economic landscape and generating crucial employment opportunities.”
Salma Ataullahjan’s Recognition
Salma Ataullahjan, Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Canadian Parliament’s Upper House, echoed Arya’s sentiments by praising Bangladesh’s development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She highlighted the nation’s strides in socio-economic development, emphasizing achievements in women’s empowerment, population growth control, counteraction of fundamentalism and militancy, and the promotion of communal harmony. Ataullahjan further commended Sheikh Hasina for providing shelter to Rohingya refugees and expressed support for a lasting solution through their repatriation to Myanmar.
Canada as an Economic Partner of Bangladesh
As per data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Canada was the 11th largest exporting partner of Bangladesh with a $1.72 billion export in FY23. Notably, Canada stands as a prominent market for Bangladeshi apparel. The export of Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) to Canada escalated to $1.55 billion in FY23, marking a substantial 16.55% growth from the previous fiscal’s $1.33 billion.
Since 2003, Bangladeshi products have enjoyed unrestricted duty-free and quota-free access in Canada under the Least-Developed Country Tariff (LDCT) scheme, a component of the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) program. The country continues to receive General Preferential Tariff (GPT) benefits in the Canadian market, particularly in the realm of ready-made garments, with duty-free privileges extended until 2024. Notably, this benefit is slated for extension for another decade.
Bangladeshi descent elected MP twice in a row in Canada
In a resounding victory, Doly Begum, a Canadian politician of Bangladeshi descent, has clinched a second consecutive term as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Ontario province. Her electoral success reflects not only her individual achievements but also the steadfast support of her community. Doly Begum secured an impressive 15,954 votes in the election, firmly surpassing her nearest rival, Brett Snyder of the Progressive Conservative Party, who garnered 9,436 votes.
Canada Grants Duty-Free Access to Bangladesh Until 2034
In a significant development, Canada has extended Bangladesh’s duty-free entry into its market until 2034. This extension, as per Canada’s Department of Finance, is part of a broader initiative to grant duty-free market benefits to all developing countries transitioning from Least Developed Countries status post-2026. This extension encompasses various commodities and stipulates an expansion of market access, contingent upon industries’ adherence to stringent labor and environmental standards.
The flourishing diplomatic and economic relations between Canada and Bangladesh stand as a testament to the latter’s impressive growth trajectory and the former’s commitment to fostering international partnerships. As Canada continues to extend support through duty-free access and acknowledges Bangladesh’s progress on various fronts, these collaborative efforts contribute to a global landscape where nations work hand in hand for mutual prosperity and development.