Abdul Matlub Ahmad, the president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who is leading a 24-strong trade delegation to Iran, mentioned cars, petrochemicals and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as three main products the delegation is negotiating to import from the Islamic Republic.
“The aim of this trip is to see what we can buy from Iran and what we can invest in Iran and what Iran could invest in Bangladesh together with the technology,” he told the Tehran Times on Monday.
“As you know Bangladesh has become a strong country under the leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We have very big export and we are now looking for a faster growth,” Ahmad noted.
“Iran has come out of the 12-year sanctions and is now willing to jump start again to become a strong country economically,” the Bangladeshi official asserted.
‘Iran very strong in oil, petrochemicals’
“We found Iran very strong in oil and petrochemicals, so we brought with us people who want to buy plastics and other petrochemical products. We brought people with us who would like to invest together with Iranian people either in Iran or in Bangladesh,” Ahmad stated.
He said, “We have seen your technical development and our people are very excited and we have seen the huge capabilities that exist now in Iran.”
He further explained, “What we have achieved in these three days [of stay in Iran], first of all, in the oil show [Iran Oil Show 2016, running during May 5-8 in Tehran] we could see Iran’s capabilities are in the international standards which is good for Bangladesh. Number two: We have talked to individual companies from where we can buy petrochemical products. Then we have talked to companies that can make joint venture and produce LPG cylinders for home, for storage, for large vessels to carry LPG from city to city in the trucks called bullet trucks. The other thing that we have achieved is buying LPG we need now. Bangladesh is now shifting from natural gas to LPG and therefore it was a very important visit for us.”
“I believe that the opportunities between the two countries are big,” the FBCCI’s president highlighted.
He went on to say, “Tomorrow [May 10] I will visit the Iranian carmaker Saipa. We are looking for a national car project in Bangladesh and we are going to offer to Saipa producing cars in Bangladesh where most investment will be from us.”
‘Difficulty with transfer of money, big problem’
“So, at this moment I am very excited about our relationship and I think it is the right time to come here,” Ahmad noted, while complaining, “The big problem that I found is transfer of money and LC. I asked the ministers to work very fast on this issue, because if we cannot have LC directly, it is difficult to expand trade fast. I am hopeful FBCCI supports in Bangladesh any purpose to hasten the monetary relation between the two countries.”
“When sanctions are lifted, we believe Iran is now ready to grow fast and remove all the blockages. But I find although anything is improved the monetary is still remaining very slow. We are not able to open LC. This is the missing part, which is very important not only for Bangladesh, but for the growth of Iran,” he commented.