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Korean envoy sees brighter future of Dhaka-Seoul relations

A two-day trade show titled ‘Showcase Korea’ began in Dhaka on Saturday demonstrating that Bangladesh and South Korea are willing to further strengthen and deepen the bilateral relations and take the relations into a higher level.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Industries and Investment Salman F Rahman joined the opening session as the chief guest that is displaying the latest products and technologies.

South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun, Mayor of North Dhaka City Corporation Atiqul Islam, President of the Korea-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KBCCI) and Chairman of Meghna Group of Industries Mostafa Kamal, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) President Md. Jashim Uddin and President of the Korean Community in Bangladesh Yoo Young-ho, among others, were present.

The Showcase Korea 2023 is co-organised by the Korean Community in Bangladesh and the KBCCI.

“As you see today, with the big and strong support of the business sectors, I have no doubt that the future of our relations, the next 50 years and 100 years, is very bright,” said Ambassador Lee.

The Showcase Korea has been a trademark of the KBCCI, which was regularly organised before the pandemic to promote the trade and business relations of the two countries.

“I am very happy to see the resumption of this event after almost four years of rest, especially in a year when our two countries are celebrating together the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties,” said the Korean Ambassador.

This year, the Showcase Korea 2023 is being held in celebration of the 50th diplomatic anniversary between Korea and Bangladesh.

“Observing this meaningful year, I strongly believe that this year should be a momentous year for the future of our two countries’ relations. It should be a landmark year to take our already close relations into a new and higher level,” said Ambassador Lee.

Bilateral trade volume between Korea and Bangladesh has been stagnant, even decreasing for almost 10 years after it reached 1.6 billion dollars in 2012. The Covid-19 pandemic even shrunk the trade volume down to 1.4 billion dollars.

“But finally, it strongly bounced back in 2021 reaching 2.2 billion US dollars, and further jumped in 2022 crossing 3 billion dollars. The trade volume doubled in just two years,” said the envoy.

Korea is now the 6th largest foreign investor in Bangladesh with an accumulated stock volume of 1.43 billion dollars.

“During the recent several years, global Korean companies like Samsung and Hyundai have been increasing their engagement with Bangladesh through their local partners,” said the envoy.

Samsung opened its assembly factory in Bangladesh in 2013 and now assembles locally most of its electronic devices including mobile phones. Hyundai Motors opened its assembly factory in the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park in partnership with Fair Group of Bangladesh.

He assured that the Korean government will always stand by Bangladesh and render their best support for the success of the business sector.

“Because your success, the success of the business sector and companies means the success of the government, the country,” he said.