19 July, Tuesday, 10:30 am four members of the visiting high-level delegation of Sierra Leon took part in a meeting with BKMEA leaders at the Head Office of BKMEA in Nrayanganj.
BKMEA second vice-president, Mr. Mansoor Ahmed chaired the meeting while Mr. Abdul Kamara, Director of the Program Management Unit, Ministry of Trade and Industry, led the delegation from Sierra Leone.
Although the trade volume between Bangladesh and Sierra Leone is low, very recently, two sides attitude has been positive to improve the terms of trade.
It is worthy to be mentioned that in addition to, the Bengali language recognized as the official language of Sierra Leon in 2000, a street has been named after the name of Bangladesh in the reorganization of the successes of the peace keeping missions of Bangladesh in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leon has invited BKMEA delegation to their home country in order to expand new markets, given the fact that the rate of overall trade between the two countries is not significant.
Assistant Director of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone (Research department) Mr. Morlai Bangura believes Sierra Leone will be a new potential country for Bangladesh in expanding knit sector’s trade.
Sierra Leone has wished to import significant amount of knit products as an alternative to China, taking into account the on-going implementation of better management of port facilities, modern methods of production and improved compliance standard in the knit factories of Bangladesh.
Sierra Leone's Honorary Consul General Mr. Onu Jaigirdar has assured his government will provide uninterrupted supply of power and allocate the required space in expanding the knit sector through setting up more Knit factories.
In Sierra Leone there exists about $ 40 million worth of market for knitwear products while 24.12 per cent tariff is imposed on importing knit products.
The liberalization of trade between the two countries will occur if measures such as facilities for providing visa for businessmen from Bangladesh, regularizing and relaxing banking facilities, and arrangement of bilateral discussion meetings are arranged on the part of Sierra Leone; Mr. Moonsor Ahemd, second vice president of BKMEA said in the meeting. He also opines trade agreement relating to export of knit products from Bangladesh may be signed with Sierra Leone on easier terms and conditions.
The delegation of Sierra Leone also visited the two knit factories of Bangladesh namely Fakir Apparels Ltd and Plummy Fashions Ltd (The Greenest knit factory in the world) after concluding the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by BKMEA Vice-President (Finance) G. M. Faruque and its Board of Directors namely Md. Homaun Kabir Khan Shilpi, Md. Mazibur Rahman, M.I. Siddique (Selim Mahbub), Md. Morshed Sarwar (Sohel) and also attended by Shamim Ahmed VP (Finance) , BKMEA and Golam Zakariya , Former Directors, BKMEA.
Among the delegation of Sierra Leone, Esther Johnson, Head of the Financial Sector Development Unit (Central Bank of Sierra Leone) Sierra Leone also attended in the Meeting.