Bangladesh calls for easing access to Indonesia market

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi sign two memorandum of understanding in Jakarta on 4 September 2023.

Bangladesh has urged Indonesia to ease the market access for Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) products in the Indonesian markets.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen made the call while holding a meeting with his Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi in Jakarta on Monday, said a press release.

Expressing his satisfaction on the recent increase in bilateral trade volume between the two countries surpassing three-billion-dollar mark, Abdul Momen pointed out the stark imbalance between Bangladesh’s import and export volumes.

The trade gap can only be reduced by promoting export of Bangladeshi products to the Indonesian markets especially the ones that Bangladesh has competitive advantage in, he added.

Recognizing Indonesia as an important trade partner of Bangladesh in the ASEAN region, Abdul Momen said that there were great potentials to further enhance bilateral trade and investment, given the complementary strengths and resources.

He expressed his hope that the bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement between the two countries would be finalised soon.

The two foreign ministers discussed various aspects of bilateral relationship between the two countries including cooperation in trade and investment and collaboration between the two countries in the international forums, Bangladesh’s bid to become a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN and the issue of the repatriation of the forcible displaced Myanmar nationals (the Rohingyas) temporality sheltered in Bangladesh.

Indonesia minister Marsudi underscored the meteoric socio-economic development under the able leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

Noting that Bangladesh and Indonesia enjoy cultural similarity and a historical bond the people-to-people level, she emphasised on exploring new avenues of collaboration and partnership to build a stronger, more vibrant relationship between our two great nations.

Both stressed the potential of further enhancing collaboration to ensure energy and food security.

During the meeting the two ministers signed two memorandum of understanding (MoUs) on the cooperation between the two countries on energy and agricultural sectors.

While the energy-sector MOU aims at promoting long-term sale and delivery of the conventional form of energy to and developing new and renewable energy sources and power plants in Bangladesh, the MoU on agriculture will foster collaboration in producing, marketing, promoting technology transfer and exchange of best practices in the field of agriculture.

Abdul Momen is visiting in Jakarta to accompany president Mohammed Shahabuddin, who is, at the invitation of Indonesian president Joko Widodo, participating in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit – two events attended by top leaders from the Southeast Asia region and beyond.