Bangladesh and Australia have immense potential to enhance bilateral trade by further deepening collaboration and cooperation, said Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA. Trade between the two countries had grown considerably over the past years and more opportunities still lie ahead that could benefit both sides if reaped together, he said. He came up with the observations during a meeting with Tim Watts, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Australian government, in Dhaka on May 15. Brendan Hodgson, Director, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives Section at Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Megan Jones, Assistant Secretary, Indian Ocean and South Asia RegionalAustralian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia; and Louisa Bochner, Adviser, office of the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs ; Jeremy Bruer, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh were also present at the meeting. The meeting was also attended by Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, State Minister for the ICT Division, Government of Bangladesh; Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, MP, Deputy Minister for Education, Government of Bangladesh; and Russell T. Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). They had discussions about different issues, including potential areas of expanding trade and investment between Australia and Bangladesh. Issues relevant to Bangladesh’s RMG industry including its prospects and preparedness to continue the growth momentum were discussed during the meeting. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan briefed the Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs about the huge progress made by Bangladesh’s RMG industry in terms of workplace safety, environmental sustainability, and workers' rights and welfare. He said Bangladesh was interested in importing more cotton and wool from Australia to meet the growing demand of the RMG and textile industry. The BGMEA President informed the Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs about about the BGMEA’s initiative to organize the Bangladesh Apparel Summit in Australia on 18th July 2023 and called on him to expend support in organizing the event. He also sought cooperation from Australia in developing knowledge and skills of the students of BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) in textile, apparel, fashion, design and business through collaboration with leading Australian universities and fashion institutes. He expressed thanks to the Australian government for its decision to continue duty-free market access for Bangladesh. “It would support Bangladesh in maintaining the momentum of its economic growth after the LDC graduation,” Faruque Hassan added.