Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for boosting trade and business cooperation between Bangladesh and Brazil.
There was a huge prospect of business expansion between the two countries, she said.
The prime minister said this when Brazilian ambassador to Bangladesh Paulo Fernando Dias Feres paid a courtesy call on her at the latter’s official residence Ganabhaban.
PM’s speech writer Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina requested the Brazil government to prioritise expansion of bilateral trade and business.
She emphasised signing preferential trade agreement or free trade agreement with Brazil and three other MERCOSUR (The Southern Common Market) countries — Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay — soon, as Bangladesh will graduate into a developing country in 2026.
Noting that discussions are continuing over signing PTA or FTA with the MERCOSUR countries, the PM urged for completing the signing process of the agreements soon.
Bangladesh mainly exports pharmaceuticals items and RMG products to Brazil and imports soybean, raw sugar and wheat.
The PM also emphasised on enhancing agricultural cooperation between Bangladesh and Brazil.
Noting that pharmaceutical items were facing some restrictions over registration process in the Brazilian market, she asked the Brazil side to ease the restrictions.
About the Rohingya issue, she said Bangladesh was providing shelter to more than 11 lakh displaced Rohingyas, which was a huge burden for the country.
She said that the displaced Rohingya population continued growing with the births of 30,000 babies every year.
The PM asked Brazil to play a decisive role in the United Nations Security Council over the Rohingya issue.
She congratulated the newly elected Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Sheikh Hasina expressed profound grief at the death of Brazilian football Legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento Pele and conveyed condolences to his family and the people of Brazil.
The Brazilian ambassador said Bangladeshi readymade garments had a great demand in the Brazilian market. ‘Brazil can be a major market for Bangladeshi RMG products,’ he added.
He said there was a huge scope to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, particularly in trade and technology.
Paulo Fernando put emphasise on enhancing the people-to-people and business-to-business contact between the two countries.
Regarding the bilateral agricultural cooperation, the envoy said agricultural good practices, experiences and technology can be shared with each other.
PM’s ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin, principal secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah and foreign senior Secretary Masud Bin Momen were present at the meeting.