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24-12-2001


DHAKA, YANGON TO OPEN COASTAL SHIPPING LINE
(AGREEMENT LIKELY NEXT MONTH)


Bangladesh and Myanmar will open a regular coastal shipping service to boost bilateral trade.
An agreement to this effect is likely to be concluded next month during the visit of Commerce Minister Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury to Myanmar,sources said.
Opening of a coastal shipping line will increase trade volume and business avenues between the two neighbors.
The coastal shipping line will provide sea links between Bangladesh ports of Chittagong, Cox'sbazar, Teknaf and Myanmar ports of Yangon, Sittwe(Akyab) and MaungDaw.
" Bangladesh business can make a quantum leap if the coastal shipping line is started ," said Rashed Maksud Khan, president of Bangladesh-Myanmar Business promotion Council.
He said there is scope for bulk export of toiletries, medicine, pharmaceuticals, cables and bottled products like Pran and other juices to the ever growing Myanmar market.
A border agreement currently in place between Bangladesh and Myanmar enables trade between the two countries.
Two Bangladesh banks are functioning in Myanmar. Bangladesh businessmen feel that more favorable trading links can be established to the mutual benefit of the countries by opening up shipping links for bulk movement of cargo.
The two countries had traditional coastal shipping links for long, which were snapped few decades ago. Bangladesh will be holding a single country trade exhibition in Yangon from 20 January 20 to 27 after a gap of five years.
Mya Tun, Counsellor at the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka, said the fair will expose Bangladeshi products to the local market. His country may also organize a similar exhibition in Bangladesh in near future, Mya tun said.
Some 20 stalls are expected to be set up by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs at the Myanmar trade fair, mainly to display non-traditional items, the sources. Business ties between Bangladesh and its eastern neighbor are developing fast after both the countries became members of BIMSTEC, a regional forum.
Myanmar opted to become a member of BIMSTEC about a year after it was formed in 1997.#

Source: Today the daily star newspaper from Bangladesh
 
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