The bilateral trade volume between South Korea and Bangladesh is expected to reach a record high this year.
Between January and November this year, the trade volume, according to the statistics by the Korea Trade Association, recorded 2.014 billion US dollars, 54.6% increase from the same period of last year which was 1.303 billion US dollars, said a South Korean Embassy release on Thursday.
Bangladesh’s export to South Korea increased by 35.8% with $498 million from $393 million in 2020 while Korea’s export to Bangladesh rose by 61.9% with $1.51 billion from $1.033 billion in 2020.
Bilateral trade has been stagnant at the level below $1.6 billion for almost a decade after it peaked at $1.872 billion in 2011.
Bangladesh’s export to Korea, which reached over $100 million in 2007 and $200 million in 2011, remained stagnant after it reached over $300 million in 2013.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh’s export to Korea, however, crossed over $400 million in 2019 and recorded $393 million in 2020. It is expected to go over $500 million by the end of this year.
The main export items of Bangladesh to Korea include garments, sports and leisure items and bronze scraps.
Garment exports, which accounts for 81 per cent of total export to Korea, increased by 32.4 per cent from the previous year with $442 million, while sports and leisure items skyrocketed by 92 per cent with $303 million. Export of bronze scrap rose by 175 per cent with $9.14 million.
Korea’s export to Bangladesh which peaked in 2011 with $1.63 billion has decreased to approximately $1.2 billion for many years and further deepened to $1.03 billion in 2020.
It might even be possible to surpass the level of 2011 by the end of this year. Major export items of Korea to Bangladesh are machinery, petrochemical products, steel and pesticides. Export of machinery rose by 107 per cent to $297 million which reflects the continued growth of Bangladesh’s manufacturing sector.
Petrochemical products increased by 64.2 per cent with $279 million. Steel export grew by 45.7 per cent with $190 million and pesticides by 68 per cent with $78 million.
South Korean ambassador Lee Jang-keun said that this year will mark a momentous turning point in the bilateral trade between the two countries overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and expect the bilateral cooperation will be further strengthened in the coming years.
He hoped that the Bangladesh business sector would take advantage of the preferential trade policy of Korea to Bangladesh which provides duty and quota free access to the Korean market by 95 per cent of the product since 2008.