Narinjara News

Preparations for Bangladesh Trade Fair in Rangoon

Dhaka, 12 March 03: 
Keeping aside the existing bottlenecks in banking, shipping and port facilities with its next-door neighbour Bangladesh is set to hold second trade fair in Rangoon from March 20, a number of news agencies in Dhaka reported.

The business community and the government of Bangladesh are highly hopeful of the success of the trade and cultural fair.  During the four day fair agreements will be signed on bilateral trade promotion, accounts trade and coastal shipping  as agreed upon during the Burmese junta premierís visit to Dhaka last December.  Another private sectoral joint business council will also be signed during the big show.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh is scheduled to lead a 54-member entourage to the Burmese capital.  Another 200 people will also go to the fair to run the stalls.  A 116-strong group of artists will also go there to perform cultural shows, said UNB today. 

The one hundred stalls will showcase pharmaceutical, ceramic, melamine, light engineering, electrical and construction products besides toiletries, which are popular items of smuggling into Burma.  A setback in the trade between the two countries is till now the limitations on part of the Burmese businessmen to open LCs due to strict foreign currency regulations imposed by the junta.  The trade between the two neighbours has so far been carried out via Singapore, in which export form Bangladesh amounted to US$ 8 million while the import was to the tune of US$ 170 million.  Once the accounts trade agreement is in place, the business community expected to narrow down the present gap.  Though the official estimate of trade between the two countries stand at about US$ 100 million annually, the non-formal trade is estimated as high as US$ 150 to 200 million.

During her two-day visit the Bangladesh premier is expected to emphasize expedition of the road links between the two countries.  #