Dhaka trying to portray ‘different Bangladesh’ to Canberra

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Published : 03:00, Jul 23, 2019 | Updated : 03:00, Jul 23, 2019

A general view of Bangladesh High Commissioner in AustraliaDhaka is trying to portray a ‘different Bangladesh’ in front of Canberra to woo Australian investors in the backdrop of growing energy demand.
“Our trade has reached about $70 billion level with a robust growth and it will continue to expand in line with increased power supply,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner in Australia Mohammad Sufiur Rahman.
The high commissioner with engineering background said the country needs huge amount of coal and LNG to meet its energy demand and Australia can be a good source for that.
According the Power System Master Plan Bangladesh is estimated to import 13 million tonnes of coal by 2025 and 60 million by 2041.
It is mentionable here that last month Bangladesh strike a deal with Indonesia to import coal and made a import payment of over $3 billion to buy petroleum products in the last fiscal.
“Australia is a source country of not only high-quality coal but also LNG and other metals which are essential components for our development,” he added.
The bilateral trade right now stands at about $2 billion with almost equal share and it is likely to jump sharply in the coming years if both the countries strike an energy trade deal in which Bangladesh will import high quality raw materials, Rahman said.
“It’s a quest for respect as Bangladesh is now in a position to bargain for quality products,” he said.
We no longer care for Australian aid and like to improve our trade relations, he added.
Australia exports coal worth to billions of dollars South Korea, Japan and China and Bangladesh can be a major sustainable destination, the envoy said.
“Bangladesh exports enjoy the duty-free quota-free facility and we would like to expand our export basket for which we need industrialization,” Sufiur said.