DHAKA, (Reuters) - Bangladesh and Turkey agreed on Sunday to boost bilateral trade to $3 billion a year by 2015, from $600 million at present, a Bangladesh official said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, who is on a two-day visit, also agreed to launch direct air links late next month.
“Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina agreed that the mutual trade could be boosted to $3 billion a year within the next five years,” Hasina’s press secretary, Abul Kalam Azad, told Reuters.
Turkey, frustrated by the slow progress of its bid to join the European Union, has been increasing trade ties for its expanding economy, which it forecasts will grow 6.8 percent this year.
Bilateral trade now stands at around $600 million a year, Bangladesh commerce ministry officials said.
Bangladesh exports jute products, garments, cotton waste and leather and leather products to Turkey. It imports machinery, food products, textile accessories and mineral resources from Turkey and is seeking Turkish investment in infrastructure, energy projects and river dredging in particular.
Ergodan’s visit follows a visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul with a large business delegation in February, the first visit to Bangladesh by a Turkish president since 1999.