Narinjara news

Bangladesh Fair in Rangoon

Dhaka, 18 Feb. 03: 
 A five-day long Bangladesh Fair is scheduled to open on 20 March in Rangoon, according to a Dhaka news agency.

The fair, second from
Bangladesh, is expected to project the export potentials of Bangladesh.  The first trade fair held last March helped participant companies from Bangladesh receive export orders to the tune of 7 million US dollars. 

The fair will also feature the signing of three bilateral trade promotion agreements – including account trade and coastal shipping arrangement, and an agreement on joint business council.  Chairman of Bangladesh-Myanmar Business Promotion Council, R Maksud Khan expected Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia to inaugurate the fair. 

Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury yesterday reviewed the preparations for the show at a meeting with Export Promotion Bureau and private sector people, the agency said.

Though last year’s trade fair was a success and there were vast potentials in it, due to bottlenecks in the shipping and banking sectors the bilateral trade did not come up to expectations.  The agency also added that, due to strict foreign currency regulations in
Burma the Burmese businessmen had limitations in opening L/Cs.  To do away with the barriers the Burmese junta premier, general Than Shwe agreed to accounts trade system and direct shipping links between Chittagong and Rangoon while he was on an official visit last December.  If accounts trade is introduced as with Thailand the BangladeshBurma trade will get a boost-up and trade gap reduced, hoped the trade officials and business community here.

From the figures of the official trade between the two neighbours in 2000 – 01, imports to
Bangladesh recorded to the tune of US$24.69 million while export was only $1.09 million.  The figure shows that Bangladesh did not win in the bilateral trade situation.  Yet exporters here remain highly hopeful of the prospects in exporting pharmaceuticals, jute and jute products, ceramic, steel products and cosmetics, especially if accounts trade is introduced.  In the absence of direct LC opening facility, most of the importers from Burma last year requested the business people from Bangladesh to go for barter trade.


However, the irritating presence of third-country goods, especially from China, in imports from Burma, remains a vexing question for the government and business circles of Bangladesh, said a renowned member of the business community in Dhaka.  #