Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (January 21, 2024) inaugurated the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) at Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BBCFEC) at Purbachal. Five foreign countries -- Turkey, India, Pakistan, Singapore and Iran -- alongside local companies are taking part in the 28th edition of the fair where exhibitors will showcase products. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, is also participating in it. The Prime Minister also declared Handicrafts Products as the product of the year for 2024. State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mahbubul Alam and vice-chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) AHM Ahsan were also present on dais. Read: 4 Bangladeshi businesses participate in Mandalay International Trade Fair The fair will continue from January 21 to February 20. The Ministry of Commerce and the EPB have been organising trade fairs since 1995. The DITF usually commences on 1 January each year. However, the EPB postponed the fair due to the 12th national elections held on January 7. The trade fair will run from 10 am to 9 pm daily and to 10 pm on weekends. The entry fee is Tk 50 for adults and Tk 25 for children. Freedom fighters and the physically challenged people need no fee. BRTC buses have been arranged from Farmgate and Kuril Biswa Road to the fair premises for the convenience of general visitors. Read: BGMEA, Oxfam discuss ways to collaborate with buyers to make trade fairer A total of 330 stalls have been allotted along with 23 pavilions and 27 mini pavilions. There will also be 15 food stalls of different categories which can accommodate up to 500 people. There are also a prayer room, children's playground, media corner, office rooms, medical rooms, guest-rooms for officials, and stores. The parking area can provide facilities for 500 vehicles. Read more: Month-long trade fair in Chattogram kicks off today
Export-import activities between Bangladesh and India through Sonamasjid land port have been suspended from this morning due to 12th national election across the country, slated for tomorrow. BNM candidate’s election camp set on fire in Chapainawabganj However, immigration through the land port is going on as usual. A notice has been issued, signed by joint commissioner of customs at the land port, Mohammad Mahbub Hasan, in this regard on Friday. Firearms, bullets recovered from Chapainawabganj border; 1 held: BGB Full-scale trade activities will resume on Monday. Chapainawabganj-1: AL candidate’s election camp set on fire
Despite an understanding among Bangladesh, Nepal and India, state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) still cannot import electricity from the Himalayan nation. On August 28 this year, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid had said that import of hydropower from Nepal was almost final. It seems unlikely that the power trade will happen before November. That means, Bangladesh will not get the opportunity to export its surplus electricity to Nepal during peak demand season in winter in the Himalayan nation. Electricity demand decreases during winter in Bangladesh while it increases in Nepal. According to official sources, after a long discussion at political and bureaucratic levels among the countries, India finally agreed to allow Bangladesh to initially import 40 MW electricity from Nepal. The import was supposed to start between August and September 2023, but negotiation on tariff remained incomplete. Sources said the decision to start the import of 40 MW power from Nepal was finalised in a two-day meeting of the joint steering committee (JSC) and joint working committee (JWC) on Bangladesh-Nepal power and energy sector cooperation on May 14-15 this year at Patuakhali in Bangladesh. Ahead of the meeting, Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud visited Dhaka and held a meeting with Bangladeshi public and private sector officials where he urged them to invest in the hydropower sector in the Himalayan nation, holding about 60,000 MW of clean energy potentials. Read: Power tariff raised again by 5 percent at retail level, effective from Wednesday After the meeting at Nepalese Embassy in Dhaka, Saud had told UNB that he was expecting all issues to be resolved during the Nepalese prime minister’s visit to India – to facilitate Nepal’s export of electricity to Bangladesh. In the follow-up, according to a report of the Kathmandu Post, during the Nepalese prime minister’s India visit (May 30-June 1), India agreed to facilitate Nepal to export 40 MW electricity to Bangladesh through Indian transmission infrastructure. India also made an announcement to buy 10,000 MW electricity from Nepal over the next 10 years. According to a recent report of The Kathmandu Post, “The Bangladeshi side has notified Nepal that they are seeking clearance from the political authorities on the agreement reached between the two sides at the bureaucratic level,” said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). “We are awaiting a final response from the Bangladeshi side to move on to tariff negotiation,” he added. NEA officials said that the two sides have concluded discussion on everything except tariff at the bureaucratic level. Read: Adani Power team likely to visit Bangladesh to discuss coal price, power tariff Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain said that he is not aware of the latest situation in this regard. He, however, noted that all necessary arrangements have been made for the cross-border power trade from both Bangladesh and Nepal sides. He said that 40 MW electricity was to be imported through Baharampur-Bheramara transmission lines which have enough capacity to import electricity from Nepal through Indian territory. Sources said under the planned arrangement, Bangladesh will import electricity from Nepal through an Indian company as a service provider which will first import electricity from Nepal through Indian transmission line and then sell it to Bangladesh. They said Bangladesh and Nepal prefer a tripartite or regional agreement while India wants bilateral deal in this regard. Explaining the matter, they said, if Bangladesh wants to import power from Nepal, it has to first sign a deal with India, not directly with Nepal. Then Nepal will sign a separate deal with India. Each deal will be on bilateral basis, and then a trilateral agreement among the three nations will be signed to facilitate the cross-border power trade. Read more: Hike in retail power tariff is less than in developed countries: Info Minister Currently, Bangladesh is importing electricity from India through a similar arrangement where the Indian company NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) is selling power to BPDB. In case of electricity trade between Dhaka and Kathmandu, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will have to sign agreements with both NVVN and BPDB. Apart from the 40 MW import plan, Bangladesh wants to import 500 MW of hydroelectricity from Nepal via Indian company GMR. Also read: Retail power tariff hiked 5% to Tk0.19 per unit for lifeline consumers, Tk0.36 on average for others Officials said Bangladesh and Nepal are still pursuing India to sign the tripartite deal to facilitate the sub-regional power trade among the three nations.
Export and import between Bangladesh and India through Dinajpur’s Hili land port will remain suspended for seven days on the occasion of Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Hindu community. Md Mostafizur Rahman, general secretary of Hili Land Port Import-Export Group, said that trade activities will remain halted from October 19 to 25 . Bangladesh-India trade through Hili land port suspended for Eid-e-Miladunnabi “The import-export through the land port will resume in full swing from October 26 after the Puja celebration,” he said, adding that they have taken the decision after a meeting with traders from both the countries. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Hili Immigration check-post, Sheikh Ashraful, said though business activities will remain suspended during the weeklong vacation, immigration process will go on as usual. Locals block Hili rail track demanding restoration of stopover of all trains So, the cross-border travel will continue through the immigration check-post of the land port during this time, he added. Md Bayezid, deputy commissioner of the Hili Land Customs Station, said that local businesses will be able to release their imported goods by paying customs during the vacation except on October 24 as it will be a public holiday for Durga Puja. Trade through Hili land port suspended for Janmashtami
Export-import activities between Bangladesh and India through the Hili land port in Dinajpur district is suspended since this morning due to Janmashtami, a major religious festival of the Hindu community. All activities at the land port also remained suspended while immigration services are on as usual, said Mostafizur Rahman, general secretary of Hili Land Port Export-Import group . Trade through Hili land port suspended due to election on the Indian side Trade between Bangladesh and India through Hili land port will resume on Thursday, he said. Trade through Sonamasjid land port resumes after 6 days
International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing BRAC Bank Limited a $50 million loan to aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment is set to contribute to the preservation of jobs and bring foreign exchange liquidity into BRAC Bank to help support the working capital and trade finance requirements of the bank’s SME importer and exporter clients. Also Read: New program by Australia, IFC to mobilise $50 million to support post-COVID inclusive growth in Bangladesh This investment, along with a similar loan to Prime Bank in February, will also send a positive signal to the market and contribute towards attracting additional international investors to support the foreign exchange financing needs of local banks and SMEs, IFC said. The financing package is part of IFC's $8 billion global COVID-19 fast-track financing facility to support companies during the ongoing public health crisis. This new investment comes under the Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program of the COVID-19 response envelope, which is providing $2 billion globally to emerging-market banks, enabling them to support struggling firms. This project will also be supported by the International Development Association's Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility, which is also rendering aid to IFC's WCS program. BRAC Bank is Bangladesh’s third-largest private bank and the only SME-focused bank in the country. Also Read: First project under IFC’s Global Food Security Platform to tackle food insecurity in Bangladesh "Our SME and corporate clients continue to confront challenges arising from the disruptive effects of COVID-19. The insufficient availability of foreign exchange has additionally impeded their regular trading operations," said Selim R. F. Hussain, the Managing Director and CEO of BRAC Bank. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global economic slowdown, influenced by a series of factors, including geo-political events. “IFC has been supporting the banking sector in export-driven economies like Bangladesh, which have been facing declines in foreign exchange reserves due to various macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds,” said Joon Young Park, IFC’s Portfolio Manager for South Asia. Also Read: Prime Bank receives $50m from IFC to support trade, forex liquidity needs in Bangladesh "IFC plans to continue providing its steadfast support to key banking partners in Bangladesh who have significant SME portfolios, such as BRAC, with whom IFC has had equity and debt commitments over the past 19 years.” IFC has invested more than $3.6 billion to promote the growth of the private sector in Bangladesh since 2010, thereby creating job opportunities for the country's citizens. And since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, IFC has provided over $360 million in working capital solutions and liquidity support to banks and companies in Bangladesh. Also Read: IFC giving $32.5 million to ensure food security in Bangladesh "After three long years of grappling with the impact of the pandemic, businesses in Bangladesh continue to face challenging market conditions,” said Martin Holtmann, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. “By supporting BRAC Bank, we are continuing our efforts to help Bangladesh recover and foster a resilient post-pandemic economic landscape.” Also Read: Implement Teesta Project to save people from manmade disasters: IFC
The United States has reiterated that they are keen to enhance relationship and cooperation with Bangladesh in key areas, including security and trade. “Last year we celebrated an anniversary as it relates to our bilateral relationship with Bangladesh, and this year in 2023 we look forward to deepening that relationship, and there are a number of areas in which we intend to deepen that cooperation,” Principal Deputy Spokesperson at US State Department, Vedant Patel, said. Also read: Italy to take skilled workers from Bangladesh, contain illegal migration Responding to a question during a regular briefing at the US Department of State on June 7, he said that in addition to security cooperation, there is potential for enhanced cooperation on climate, trade and many other issues. Also read: US consistent on the need for free, fair election in Bangladesh: White House “So of course, this is an issue that continues to be of importance to us. I have spoken about this a great deal to some of your colleagues. One of them, of course, is the opportunity for security cooperation with Bangladesh,” Patel said when asked about boosting US engagement in counterterrorism in Bangladesh. Also read: Won’t get into specific election results in another country, Vedant Patel says on Gazipur City Polls
The Myanmar (Lashio)-China (Lincang) border trade fair is scheduled to be held in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw, the Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday. The four-day trade fair, jointly organized by Myanmar's commerce ministry and China's Lincang city government, will be held on May 25-28. "The trade fair is aimed at boosting trade relations between the two countries and strengthening interaction between traders of the two neighbors," Daw Naw Muta Kapaw, director-general of the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization under the Ministry of Commerce, told Xinhua. "It is the first in-person Myanmar-China border trade fair since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic," the official said, adding that the trade fair was virtually held in the last two years due to the pandemic. The trade fair will feature more than 100 stalls, including more than 40 from China and about 70 from Myanmar, she said. Companies from China will exhibit their products including coffee and tea products, macadamia, instant foods, solar appliances, electrical appliances, kitchenware and other consumer products, while Myanmar's gems and jewelry, local produces, and products from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) will be on display. The last in-person Myanmar-China border trade fair took place in Lashio of Myanmar in November 2019.
A new journalism competition will be held in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka to encourage more and better-quality investigative reporting to bolster Bangladesh-China ties in trade, commerce and investment. An agreement on the Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI) - the Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) Journalism Award was signed here Saturday. Both sides have decided to jointly hold the journalism award event. The "BCCCI-ERF Journalism Award" will cover five areas, including the trade and investment ties between Bangladesh and China, how the high-quality development of China has helped Bangladesh, science and technology, the Belt and Road Initiative and others. Noting the professional significance of such an event, Al Mamun Mridha, secretary general of BCCCI, hoped that it would further encourage the economic journalists to analyze the topics of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and China.
FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin said that it is essential to strengthen commercial activities in order to expand trade in non-conventional markets. Md. Jashim Uddin said this during a courtesy meeting with the newly appointed ambassador of Bangladesh to Libya Major General Abul Hasnat Mohammad Khairul Bashar on Wednesday at the FBCCI Icon. FBCCI President said Bangladesh is still lagging behind in expanding trade to other regions of the world outside the conventional markets of Europe and America. Also Read: FBCCI election on July 31 "Initiatives should be taken to capture non-conventional markets like the Middle East, Africa, and Asia," he said. "The global geopolitical context has opened a new door of opportunity for Bangladesh as buyers are moving away from single-market dependence," he added. The FBCCI president said Bangladesh should increase its efficiency in marketing strategy to utilize this potential. Highlighting the potential sectors of the country, Md. Jashim Uddin said that the processed food industry is expanding rapidly. Also Read: Working to reduce gender inequality in workplace: FBCCI "Besides this, Pharmaceuticals, electronic products, light engineering, leather and leather goods, ceramics, and plastic products have huge potential," he said.He urged the ambassador of Bangladesh to Libya to take initiatives in expanding the market of these products in Libya. Ambassador Major General Abul Hasnat Mohammad Khairul Bashar said, "The security situation in Libya is gradually improving. So there is scope for Bangladesh to work again with Libya in several sectors." The embassy will work on exporting skilled manpower to Libya, he added. FBCCI Vice President Md. Habib Ullah Dawn, Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Ambassador Mosud Mannan, and others were present at the meeting.