Ministry of Commerce
Bangladesh's Ministry of Commerce has set an export target of $72 billion with 11.52 percent growth for the fiscal year 2023-24. Export target for goods has been set at $62 billion while for the service sector, the target was set at $10 billion. Export target achieved in FY 2022-23 was $64.55 billion, which saw a growth of 5.88 percent. RMG exports to EU grew 9.93% in FY 2022-23: Export Promotion Bureau Goods worth $55.55 billion and services worth $9 billion were exported in FY 2022-23, and the growth were 6.67 percent and 1.25 percent respectively. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today (July 12, 2023) made the announcement of the export target and achievements in the previous fiscal in a press conference at the ministry. Prior to the announcement, the minister met with leaders of different business organizations and ministry officials. RMG exports in FY23 almost $47bn, 85% of total exports Business leaders at the meeting urged the government to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to industries at affordable rates. Otherwise, exports would be negatively impacted, they told the minister. While announcing the new export target, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the global economic slowdown has been considered when setting the new target. Gas and power crises have also been considered while setting the target, the minister said. Exports raked in $55.56bn in FY23, highest in history While replying to a query, the minister said Bangladesh has some advantages including trained labour force, and affordable cost of products. Besides, global entrepreneurs are relocating industries from China due to geo-political reasons, and Vietnam has a labour crisis, the minister said. If Bangladesh can utilize these opportunities, exports can go beyond the target, the commerce minister said. Dollar exchange rate for repatriated export income increased to Tk107.5
The Ministry of Commerce on Sunday (June 25, 2023) fixed the prices of salted cowhides at Tk 50 to Tk 55 per square feet in Dhaka and at Tk 45 to Tk 48 outside Dhaka. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi disclosed this after a meeting with tannery owners, the Tariff Commission, and related stakeholders at the Ministry of Commerce. The minister said that the price of salted cowhide has been increased by Tk 3 in Dhaka and by Tk 5 outside Dhaka compared to last year. And the prices of Khasi (male goat) and goat skin were kept the same as it was in the previous year. Read: Salted rawhides collection starts Thursday Tipu Munshi said the rawhide prices of sacrificial Khasi (male goat) has been fixed at Tk 18 to Tk 20 and goat Tk 12 to Tk 14. Last year, the price of salted cowhide was Tk 47 to Tk 52 per square feet in Dhaka and Tk 40 to Tk 44 outside Dhaka. And the price of salted skin of khasi was Tk 18 to Tk 20 and goat skin was Tk 12 to Tk14. Tanners will get around Tk 259 crore loans from banks to procure and preserve rawhides during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. Read: Steps taken to prevent rawhide smuggling in border areas: Industries Secy According to commerce ministry sources, tannery owners have written to the ministry seeking a Tk 500 crore loan . A total of 12 public and private banks will disburse the loans among applicants with state-owned ones lending the maximum amount. Read more: Govt hikes rawhide prices ahead of Eid
The government today decided to reduce the price of edible oil, considering the price reduction in the international market, Senior Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, said today (June 11, 2023). The price of bottled soybean oil has been reduced by Tk 10 per liter to Tk 189, and loose soybean oil will now cost Tk 167 per litre. Also read: Bottled soybean price hiked by Tk 12 per litre, effective from today Meanwhile, the price of palm oil has been reduced by Tk 2 per litre to Tk 133, the senior secretary said after the 7th meeting of the ‘Task Force on Review of Commodity Prices and Market Situation’ at the conference room of the Ministry of Commerce at the Secretariat. The price reduction will come into effect "within a few days," he said. Also read: 11 proposals including import of soybean oil, sugar get cabinet body’s nod The commerce secretary said: “Many issues were discussed in today's meeting, including the prices of soybean oil, onion, ginger and garlic. We’ve also discussed the current import situation.” “We’ve already reduced the price of onion after the decision to allow imports,” he said. Also read: Govt cuts soybean oil price by Tk 5 per litre, effective from Sunday The commerce secretary also said the price of edible oil may reduce further in the next 15 days, based on the reduction in price in the international market. According to the Ministry of Commerce, there is a demand for 20 lakh tonnes of edible oil annually in the country. Of this, the demand during the holy month of Ramadan is close to 3 lakh tonnes. Around 200,000 tons are produced locally, while the remainder is imported. Also read: TCB to buy 1.60 crore litres of soybean oil for OMS ahead of Ramadan
Bangladesh could soon start trading with India using rupee instead of US dollar, trial for which has been done by Bangladesh Bank recently.The ministry of commerce has placed a written recommendation at the last cabinet meeting regarding the possibility and opportunity of using rupee instead of dollar. Currently Bangladesh exports goods to India worth around USD 2 billion. “The use of rupee will start with Bangladesh's $2 billion trade with India. Bangladesh Bank has almost finished all kinds of trials in this regard. Trading in rupee will be introduced in both countries only after bilateral decision on some issues,” an executive director of Bangladesh Bank told UNB. Read More: Bangladesh Bank yet to allow Indian rupee in foreign trade Wishing anonymity, he said that banking systems in India and Bangladesh have to sign separate agreements on using rupee. Meanwhile India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) has submitted the total trade account to the central bank in the form of a proposal. This initiative is being taken to overcome the existing dollar crisis, sources said. Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Md Mezbaul Haque said that India-Bangladesh trade, using rupee instead of US dollar, is still in the experimental stage. Some issues still need to be settled. “There are some bilateral issues that need to be resolved. Then the banks have to prepare. But there will be a positive decision in this regard,” he added. Read More: Indian businesses eager to invest in various sectors In response to a question whether there will be a fixed annual dollar quota for opening LCs, he said, LCs will be opened according to the needs of businessmen. But the only source of rupees is from the export earnings of Bangladeshi goods in India. “We are importing more from India than we export. This is why there is a trade deficit. As a result, the amount of rupee is also being considered,” Mezbaul said. Currently India is trading in rupees with Russia, Mauritius, Iran and Sri Lanka. At the Bangladesh-India ministerial meeting on trade, held in the Indian capital New Delhi on December 22-23 last year, India proposed to introduce the rupee as a medium of trade for both countries. Read More: Bangladesh maintains close ties with all – China, US and India: PM tells CNN Then, on the sidelines of the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held in Bengaluru, India on February 24-25, there was a discussion between the two countries about moving the dollar as an exchange currency. There, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukder and Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das discussed the possibility of such a system using rupee instead of US dollar.
Makawadee Sumitmor, Ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh, has handed over "Thai SELECT" certificate to Shamima Rahman, Managing Partner of Thai Emerald. Thai SELECT is a mark of certification awarded by the Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Government to guarantee the authentic Thai taste of Thai food products and Thai restaurants in Thailand and overseas. The office of Commercial Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy and Thai Emerald jointly organized the Thai SELECT certificate giving ceremony at Thai Emerald in the city on Thursday afternoon. Khemathat Archawathamrong, Director of Thai Trade center Dhaka, Vachirachai Sirisampan, Director and Vaishali Sharma, Marketing Officer of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi Office also attended the event among others. Also read: Thailand eyes FTA; shipping routes with Bangladesh This initiative helps people discover Thailand’s traditional flavours and encourages chefs and restaurants to strive for the highest quality in food, ingredients, and service. Awarded restaurants focus on upholding traditional Thai methods of cooking and aim to include authentic Thai ingredients throughout their menus. Where ingredients from Thailand cannot be sourced, Thai SELECT restaurants substitute with local options that allow the flavours of Thailand to be honoured. The award is divided in two categories; Thai ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook products and Thai restaurants. The symbol is given to restaurants in three categories, assessed by type of restaurant, decoration, and level of food and service excellence. The categories are Thai SELECT Signature, Thai SELECT Classic and Thai SELECT Casual. Thai SELECT Signature is the highest level of accreditation, given to restaurants that exceed all of the criteria. Restaurants awarded this certification personify authentic Thai characteristics, serve Thai food made with quality ingredients, offer an elevated setting, and provide outstanding service. At present Thai Emerald, Gulshan has achieved this level in Bangladesh. Currently, 1,354 Thai SELECT certified restaurants are available across the world. Also read: Bangladesh, Thailand make good progress towards FTA: Thai envoy Among them, there are 456 in USA, 297 in Europe, 357 in Asia, 88 in ASEAN, 106 in Australia, 24 in Africa and 26 restaurants in the Middle East. There were 3 Thai SELECT certified restaurants in Bangladesh. But at present, only Thai Emerald, Gulshan is continuing the business.
E-commerce companies will have to get registered online filling out a prescribed format prepared by the ministry of commerce to do business. The ministry is now working on how to register all the e-commerce companies through an online system so that the service becomes hassle free but smart, AHM Safiquzzaman, additional secretary of the Commerce Ministry, told reporters on Tuesday. On October 12, the government formed a committee with Safiquzzaman as its chairman to monitor e-commerce companies and recommend what needs to be done to protect the rights of consumers. The committee sat in its first meeting on Monday and its second meeting is scheduled to be held next week, sources said. Read: Recommendations to recover scammed e-commerce money within a month The committee will have to submit a report before the cabinet division within one month as per the deadline set in the working paper. According to the sources, the committee will recommend the method of transparent financial transactions of e-commerce companies and how to bring them under VAT and Income Tax network. The instructions that will come from the cabinet department will be implemented later. Read: E-commerce Scams: Ways to Protect Your Investment from Online Frauds “The committee has jurisdiction over the method of recovering money and assets. The Cabinet Division will decide whether an administrator will be appointed or not,” Safiquzzaman said. The Cabinet Division, Information and Communication Technology Division, Financial Institutions Division, Bangladesh Bank, Police, Defence Intelligence Directorate, National Security Intelligence Agency, Special Branch of Police, BFIU, NBR, National Telecommunication Monitoring Center, Police Criminal Investigation Division, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) are working together to set up a standard system of e-commerce business.
The weeklong Bangladesh Trade and Investment Summit-2021 will begin on October 26, bringing together top policymakers, business leaders and investors from across the world on a virtual platform. The international summit is going to be organized marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh’s Golden Jubilee of Independence. The Ministry of Commerce and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) will organize the summit jointly from October 26 to November 1. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the summit from her official residence Ganobhaban. Read: Bangladesh trade, investment virtual summit Oct 26-Nov 1 The summit will bring together the top policymakers, leaders of successful companies and leading investors, business analysts, CEOs of big conglomerates, multilateral agencies both from the host country and from across the world. Interested businesses and companies of different sectors can join the virtual B2B meetings and connect suitable matches in Bangladesh. The week-long investment summit includes nine sectors underscoring critical enablers and avenues of the economy, demanding massive investments especially in Infrastructure (Physical, logistics and Energy), IT/ITES and FINTECH, leather goods, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive and Light Engineering, Plastic products, Agro and food processing, Jute and Textiles, FMCG and Retail Business.
The Ministry of Commerce has urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to withdraw customs duty on onion import, aiming to keep its price stable in the market. The ministry also urged the NBR to slash import duties on crude soybean oil, palm oil and sugar to cool the overheated domestic market. Read:Price hike in Bangladesh: Unseen sufferings of shy middle class The request was made at a meeting of the Ministry of Commerce at the Secretariat on Monday to keep the stock, supply, import and price situation of the commodities stable. “NBR has been requested to withdraw the import duty on onion, and reduce the duties on crude soybean, palm oil and unrefined sugar in public interest,” additional secretary to Import and Internal Trade division of the Commerce Ministry AHM Safiquzzaman said at the meeting.
The Ministry of Commerce with the support of the World Bank Group on Sunday launched a new funding window called Covid-19 Enterprise Response Fund (CERF) for entrepreneurs to get investment supports for meeting the demand and supply of Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products in local and international markets . It is a program of US$7.5 million matching-grant where entrepreneurs will get investment supports under the Export Competitiveness for Jobs (EC4J) project being implemented by the Ministry of Commerce. The CERF of the Export Readiness Fund (ERF) Program under the EC4J project was launched Sunday through virtual platform. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi was present at the virtual launching of the fund as the chief guest. Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Miyang Tembon joined the virtual launching as special guests. Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Dr Md Jafar Uddin chaired the launching ceremony of the fund. Speaking at the function Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the CERF is a very timely step by the Ministry of Commerce. Mentioning that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the global economy including Bangladesh, he said, "We'll have to take pragmatic steps to face this deadly virus.” He said the purpose of producing these health and medical safety products for Covid-19 is not only for tapping the domestic market, but also the international market. He informed that the matching grants to be provided under CERF to the competitive firms ranging between $50,000 to $5,00,000 is a great milestone. "We hope our producers will take advantage of the fund to successfully tap into a new product segment which is critical to face the COVID-19. I believe it (CERF) will work for the interest of the people and also for the world," the Minister said. Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Salman F Rahman said that the government of Bangladesh has taken various steps to face the pandemic while CERF is one of such pragmatic initiatives to build resilience of the domestic producers of such MPPE products in the ever-changing world. "It will strengthen the government's plan to boost the export market.” Noting that the CERF would strengthen the base of MPPE producers in the country, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce said that this would give safety to people from this deadly COVID-19 virus in one hand and also facilitate exports on the other hand. Dr Jafar also urged the local entrepreneurs to come forward and thus apply for this grant on first come, first serve basis. World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Mercy Tembon said the Cov-19id has come before the world as a shock and the pandemic is hitting the poor severely. Highlighting some salient features of the CERF supported by the World Bank, Mercy Tembon said the World Bank is committed to enhance the competitiveness of the country as well as would continue to help building a resilient economy and achieving a robust growth. She mentioned that this CERF would boost production of MPPE products by the local entrepreneurs, increase domestic supply and thus increase exports. With the rolling out of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the World Bank Country Director hoped that Bangladesh would bounce back better in the coming days. She also hoped that the CERF would go a long way to the process of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Project Director of EC4J Project and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Md Hafizur Rahman, team leader of ERF management unit Dave Runganaikaloo, World Bank representative and private sector specialist Hosna Ferdous Sumi and deputy team leader of ERF management unit Emdadul Haque also present at the virtual launching. The purpose of CERF is to support Bangladeshi businesses to repurpose and pivot their operations and build resilience in an ever-changing economic environment. The CERF will support private enterprises to procure plant, equipment, materials and know-how for rapid repurposing of capacity to produce MPPE products on a sustainable basis. CERF grants will be made available to private Bangladeshi firms from any industry sector, providing they are in the production or have plans to manufacture qualifying MPPE products. CERF grants will range from US$50,000 (minimum grant size) to US$500,000 (maximum grant size) for supported projects. The contribution of the grant recipients will be 40% for SMEs and 50% for large enterprises. Key product or service features supported by the CERF will include-Manufacturing of MPPE products including personal protective equipment, diagnostic equipment and clinical care equipment and MPPE product design, including, for example, modifications to technical specifications and packaging, buyers’ designs, etc. The others are- Services for MPPE such as research, development, certification and testing, and support to new techniques to establish, diversify or extend a firm’s range of saleable MPPE products/services, or their introduction and adaptation. Out of the total applications, about 50 applications will be accepted on competitive basis for this CERF. The ERF was initially a program of US$10 million matching-grant program of the EC4J Project that provides financial support to eligible Bangladeshi firms in four targeted sectors (Leather and Leather goods, Footwear (Both Leather and Non-leather), Plastics and Light Engineering) to identify gaps, catalyse investment and improve Environmental, Social and Quality (ESQ) standards in efforts to enhance their competitiveness in the export markets. The purpose of ERF is to integrate Bangladesh in the value chain of global export market. The Export Readiness Fund provides grant-based incentives to firms to support exports from Bangladesh. A door of immense potentials has already been opened before Bangladesh amid the growing challenges for meeting the demand and supply of Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products in local and international markets to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. For this, the government has come forward to support the country's entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities.
British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson on Tuesday said the UK is committed to working with Bangladesh to create a trade and investment relationship that will help both economies grow.