02/11/2010, 00.00
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France and Germany increase investment in Bangladesh

by William Gomes
With 2.1 billion dollars invested and an export growth of 17.4% in 2009, Germany is the second economic partner of Bangladesh after the United States. More than 200 million euros spent by France in projects against pollution. The textile industry remains the main industry of Bangladesh.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – 2009 saw increased investments by Germany and France in Bangladesh. A study by the German Federal Bureau of Statistics published last February 4, notes that Germany is now the second market for the Bangladeshi goods after the U.S. In 2009, German investment in the Asian country was 2.1 billion euros, growing by 17.4%. Instead, France is investing in technical innovation in the textile sector at a cost of over 200 million.

"I welcome the increase in trade between the two states - states Holger Michael, the German Ambassador in Bangladesh - the current traffic of goods amounts to about 1.6 billion euros, and I hope that relations between Germany and Bangladesh continue to grow".

To date, over 90% of Bangladeshi products exported to Germany come from the clothing industry. This is confirmed as the main industry of the country, thanks to the low cost of labour. But in 2009 the trade relations also involved the shipping sector, with the start of construction of 30 vessels worth 250 million euros. Other exported products are: jute, leather, fish and seafood.

Besides the exploitation of cheap labour, the 2009 has also seen investments to improve the quality of products. France has in fact spent over $ 200 million in projects to limit the use of harmful and polluting materials in the realization of clothes. "We are friends of Bangladesh - says the French ambassador Laurent Estrade - France wants to assist the country in reducing pollution, particularly by limiting the use of arsenic in the industry."  

Despite the global crisis, the quantity of products exported by Bangladesh is growing. Between 2007 and 2009, total exports grew by 4.8%, while the projected increase for 2010 is 6.3%. In addition to Germany, France and the U.S., other trading partners are Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Holland.  

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