Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan has credited "very strong leadership" on both sides and deep political trust for the significant progress in Dhaka-Ankara relations in recent times on the eve of his departure from the South Asian country.
"I think there are a couple of factors. One is the fact that both countries - Turkey and Bangladesh - are growing economies; and they have high growth rates and very strong leadership on both sides," Turan told UNB in an exclusive interview.
The Turkish envoy, who is set to complete his tenure later this month, said they have found the opportunity to increase their trade and investments.
"I think Bangladesh and Turkey have very complementary economies; we can diversify our trade and increase the volume up to $2 billion in the years to come. Currently, it's around $1.2 to $1.3 billion," Turan said.
The two countries were aiming for a $1.5 billion trade annually but it slowed down because of the current global economic crisis.
"But I am confident that we can increase our trade to $2 billion easily in the next one or two years," he said.
BANGLADESH-TURKIYE BUSINESS FORUM
At the end of his three years tenure in Bangladesh, Ambassador Turan said he is confident that the upward trend in the relationship will continue and their trade and investments will be diversified.
ICT and pharmaceutical industries appear as promising fields of cooperation as well as agro-industry and light engineering, he said.
Bangladesh can also benefit from the growing interest of Turkish contracting companies to participate in infrastructure and transport projects.
PROMOTING BANGLADESH IN TURKEY
The ambassador said they have tried to promote Bangladesh in Turkey because their business community does not know enough about the country and the opportunities it offers. "I think here we have done a good job together with the Government of Bangladesh."
"I think the level of awareness in Turkey about the opportunities and potential in Bangladesh is increasing day by day," he said, adding that another factor - people-to-people contacts - also contributed to growing relations.
TAKING A PATHAO RIDE TO AVOID DHAKA TRAFFIC JAM
"Yes, I wanted to try Pathao, because one of the important memories I have here is that I interacted a lot with young entrepreneurs and start-ups. Pathao is one of them," said the ambassador, adding, "And I wanted to see how it works. It worked really well and helped me arrive on time at my farewell dinner hosted by the Palestinian ambassador!"