The bilateral trade between Korea and Bangladesh reached a new height last year, exceeding $3 billion, with a nearly 40% increase compared to the previous year.
The bilateral trade in 2022 was $3.035 billion, a 38.71% increase from 2021 when it was $2.188 billion, media reported citing data from the Korea International Trade Association.
Last year, Bangladesh’s export to Korea increased by 2.9% to $678 million from $552 million in the previous year, while Korea’s export to Bangladesh rose by 44.1% to $2.357 billion from $1.636 billion in 2021.
Bangladesh’s export to Korea has been continuously increasing since it crossed $100 million in 2007 for the first time and reached $200 million in 2011 and $300 million in 2013.
It remained stagnant for about a decade and shrunk by 2.9 percent in 2020 to $393 million due to Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it witnessed a big rebound in 2021 to $552 million and then reached another high of $678 million in 2022.
The main export items of Bangladesh to Korea are RMG, sports and leisure items and bronze scraps. The RMG accounts for 83.2% of total export to Korea in 2022, with an increase by 25.8% year-on-year basis.
Paper products and favorite food export skyrocketed by 168.6% and 165% with $3.6 million and $3.1 million, respectively. Export of bronze scrap rose by 41.8% to $17.76 million.
On the other hand, increase of Korea’s export to Bangladesh in 2021 and 2022, was mainly led by the hike of Bangladesh’s import of diesel, which rose by 703.8% to $972 million in 2022.
Other major export items from Korea to Bangladesh are machinery, petrochemical products, steel and pesticides that saw decrease in imports here.
In a statement, Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-Keun said, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Bangladesh, which will prove to be a turning point in the bilateral ties overcoming the challenges of COvid-19 pandemic and global economic challenges derived from Russian-Ukraine war.
He expected Bangladesh business sector to take advantage of the preferential trade policy of Korea that provides duty and quota free access to the Korean market for 95% of Bangladesh products since 2008.
Bangladesh will also provide at least four percent cash incentives for exports to Korea, a non-traditional market.