Bangladesh- Korea Trade and Investment Relations
Bilateral trade between the two countries is growing slowly. During the FY 2017-18, two-way trade between the two countries was USD 1.57 billion from USD$22.86 million in 2005. Bangladesh’s exports to the Republic of Korea was USD 370.65 million and imports USD $1.28 billion during in 2018-19. The trade balance is consistently in favor of the Republic of Korea.
Export Items of Bangladesh to the Republic of Korea:
Textiles, Tents Of Synthetic Fibers, Copper Waste And Scrap, Footwear, Other Household Articles And Toilet Articles, Plastics and articles, Impregnated, coated or laminated textile fabric, Manufactures of plaiting material, basketwork, etc, Rubber and articles thereof; Bird skin, feathers, artificial flowers, human hair, Aluminum and articles thereof; Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic invertebrates.
Import Items of Bangladesh from the Republic of Korea:
Iron and steel, Plastics, and articles thereof, Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts thereof; Paper and paperboard; articles of paper; pulp, of paper or of paperboard; Tanning or dyeing extracts; tannins and their derivatives; dyes, etc; Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and Parts and accessories thereof; Man-made filaments; strip and the like of man-made textile materials; Zinc and articles thereof.
In March 2019, for the first time ever, the EPB participated in Sourcing Fair in Seoul (21-23 March 2019). Also, the Korea-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry also participated in the Imported Good Fair (27-29 June 2019) in the Republic of Korea in 2019 for the first time.
The Republic of Korea was the first country to set up an exclusive foreign Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in Bangladesh and is still one of the top sources of FDI, especially in textile and clothing sector. It is increasingly engaging itself in the infrastructure, energy, ICT and Medical equipment sectors. More than 200 Korean companies have invested in Bangladesh.
Mentionable that the Republic of Korea is now looking for new investment destinations. During the visit of the former Prime Minister H.E. Lee-Nak-yon to Bangladesh in July 2019, the then Korean Premier also expressed his interest to make cluster investment in the Specialized Economic Zone (SEZ) of Bangladesh. Already the Korean tech giant Samsung is assembling some of its products in Bangladesh with a joint venture company. Following the first ever “Investment Seminar” in Seoul in May 2018, jointly organized by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul and the Bangladesh Development and Investment Authority (BIDA), there is a growing interest among the Koreans to invest in different sectors in Bangladesh.