First ever Bangladesh-Canada Business Forum held in Toronto – Press Release
The Consulate General of Bangladesh in Toronto in collaboration with Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) organized ‘Bangladesh-Canada Business Forum-2019’ in Toronto. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi MP led a 19 member Bangladesh Business delegation to the Forum. This is the first ever Business Forum since the establishment of diplomatic relations with Canada.
The Forum comprised high level deliberations, presentations and two panel discussions and a valedictory session followed by press outreach. The theme of the first panel was “How Canada enhances Business and Investment with Bangladesh” moderated by Mr. Syed Sadat Almas Kabir, President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). And second panel was on “How Bangladesh enhances Business and Investment with Canada” moderated by Mr. Rocco Rossi, President & CEO of Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC).
The Business Forum marked signing of an MoU between the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), which is also for the first time in the history of diplomatic relations with Canada. Mr. Sheikh Fazle Fahim, President of FBCCI and Mr. Rocco Rossi, President of OCC signed the MOU on behalf of respective Chambers.
Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of Ontario Victor Fedeli who was the guest of honour at the Forum stressed on deeper engagement with Bangladesh. The Ontario Trade Minister said that the priority of Ontario province is to generate mass employment for which it has opened its economy to foreign entrepreneurs where Bangladesh can mark its strong foothold. Minister Fedeli remarked that signing of an MOU between the two apex Chambers is an unprecedented occasion and demonstrates strong partnership between two countries to speed up further trade and investment.
Commerce Minister Mr. Tipu Munshi MP, said that under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country is on the verge of attaining double digit growth. Minister Munshi said that the essence of this Forum is to build business links, so that entrepreneurs and businessmen from both the business hubs can partner and work in-tandem to enhance trade and investment. He said that this first ever Business Forum with Canada has provided a unique platform for the business leaders and entrepreneurs to exchange their views and ideas on sector specific comparative advantages in investment, trade promotion and win-win business.
He mentioned that this first ever Business Forum is a steppingstone to a new height in business relations with Canada. He particularly thanked the Consulate General of Bangladesh in Toronto for organizing such an effective Business Forum within the five months of opening of the Mission in Toronto. He expected that the flow of such Business Forum with other provinces of Canada would continue. Commerce Minister Munshi vowed to stand by each other to forge mutually beneficial collaboration and investment.
In his welcome remarks, Consul General of Bangladesh in Toronto Mr. Nayem Uddin Ahmed said that based on the directives of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, within the five months of opening the Bangladesh Consulate General in Toronto has seized an opportunity to advance economic diplomacy. Thus, it organized a high-level Business Forum between Bangladesh and Canada in Toronto.
In the welcome remarks, OCC President Mr. Rocco Rossi thanked the business leaders from both Bangladesh and Canada for their spontaneous participation in the Forum. He noted that Canada and Bangladesh have lots to offer each other. He said that both the countries are gaining importance as each other’s trade and investment partner. Bangladesh is increasingly making inroads in the Canadian market with non-conventional products. Speaking on the success of Bangladesh during the last one-decade Mr. Rossi overwhelmingly stated that a true success tale of the Delta has been eloquently conveyed to the business folks in Toronto.
The Business Forum summarized that looking at the pattern and needs across the two economies and the global supply chains, high-value apparels, light engineering, pharma and biologics, digital services, industrial use of jute fiber, marine fishing, frozen food, logistics, transport & communication, higher education, vocational diploma, value added services, tertiary health care should merit attention to both the businessmen and entrepreneurs.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canada Mr. Mizanur Rahman expressed the hope that the Forum would continue in the coming years and there will be regular exchanges of business delegations. Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Chairman NBR, Mr. Mr. Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman, BEZA, Ms. Corinne Petrisor, Counsellor of Canadian High Commission in Dhaka, Mr. Abdul Malik, Director of Steel Canada Limited, Mr. Louie DiPalma, Vice President of Ontario Chamber of Commerce were present at the Forum as distinguished panelists.
The Forum ended with hope to engage more intensively in the days coming ahead to enhance both way trade and investments.
Consulate General of Bangladesh
3 September 2019