The Philippines and Bangladesh should further explore business opportunities in information technology (IT), agriculture, and health sectors, Foreign Affairs Sec. Enrique Manalo said.
In a seminar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Philippine-Bangladesh bilateral ties, the top diplomat said relations on the economic front had grown steadily over the past few years.
Trade between Manila and Dhaka, he said, increased from approximately $48 million to $105 million in 2021, overcoming the impact of the pandemic.
He also mentioned the recent $3.9 million investment made by Bangladeshi BPO company TELSU, Inc. and the continuous operation of Liwayway Corp. in Gazipur since 2019.
Bangladesh Fo-reign Minister Abdul Momen agreed with the need to “initiate new collaboration” in agriculture, digital economy, and education while strengthening cooperation in regional and international forums.
In the same event, Bangladesh Ambassador to Manila Borhan Uddin said now is the time to “review bilateral cooperation in the last 50 years, what we have achieved, and what could be achieved.”
“Being developing countries, there might be a sense of competition in some sectors. If we complement each other without being competitive, I believe both countries can equally benefit from the common sources.”
The two nations established formal diplomatic relations on Feb. 24, 1972, with the Philippines being one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh’s independence.
Through the years, various agreements in trade and investments, culture, merchant shipping, and youth and sports brought cooperation between the two nations. – PNA