Services contributed $500 million to total export receipts in 2019-20, in large part supported by ongoing Bangladesh demand for Australian education. But the COVID-19 pandemic and associated international travel restrictions have disproportionally hurt services trade. Tourist arrivals fell to 4,500 in 2020 from 22,500 in 2019. Ongoing international travel restrictions points to another challenging year for services exports in 2021.
Bangladesh is Australia’s 32nd largest trading partner, accounting for 0.3% of Australia’s total trade in 2019-20. Total goods and services trade amounted to $2.6 billion in 2019-20. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted bilateral trade. Australia’s main exports to Bangladesh include vegetables, metal waste and scrap, copper and cotton.
Australian investment in Bangladesh is small, at $435 million in 2020. But Bangladesh’s longer-term infrastructure and economic development plans means there are opportunities for investment in the energy, telecommunications and infrastructure sectors. Bangladeshi investment in Australia is very small.