African and Bangladesh markets potential yet to be recognized: SA minister

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor today laid emphasis on utilizing potentiality between African and Bangladesh markets through increasing trade and commerce ties.

“Potential of Africa has not yet been recognized by Bangladesh while potential of Bangladesh is not recognized by African market,” she told reporters after attending a semi-webinar at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) here, Report BSS

She said Bangladesh has a market of 160 million people while Africa has more a billion people market. “(So) we want to see Bangladesh companies will establish branches in South Africa and other parts of Africa, similarly we want (to see) more goods imported by Bangladesh,” she added.

Pandor is visiting here to participate at the 21st Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers that held on Wednesday.

About the IORA, the South African minister said it will become an important body upholding its principles and its members don’t want to be dominated by any powerful nation.

“We don’t want to be dominated by anybody’s fight with another country, nor do we wish to be told what to do,” she said.

Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen attended the Semi-Webinar on “Bangladesh-South Africa Bilateral Relations: Exploring the Potentials for Future Engagement and Cooperation” as the chief guest.

Dr Momen said that the scope of trade and economic relations between Bangladesh and South Africa is expanding and still, there is a huge a possibility to strengthen these relations to foster economic growth and to create employment opportunities.

Bangladesh has opened investment windows for different sectors including Ready Made Garments, Pharmaceuticals, Fisheries, and Tourism, he added.

During the webinar the South African Minister praised the remarkable socio-economic development of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Pandor expressed satisfaction that two countries have already signed some important agreements under discussion and also mentioned that both countries have a lot of possibilities technical exchanges.

BIISS Director General Major General Md Emdadul Bari delivered the welcome address and concluding remarks.

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