Narinjara news

Fish Trade  Fishy Deals

Teknaf, 13
th June 03:  The Burma  Bangladesh trade may have at last seen the daylight with the import of fish from Burma.  Everyday two or three hundred tonnes of Burmese freshwater fish is unloaded at the Teknaf jetty on the Bangladesh side, our correspondent writes from the border town.

All the fish is directly shipped from Rangoon, while most of the shipment include freshwater fish.  The price of the fish at local import market stands at taka 60,000 for a tonne, while in Rangoon the price of the same is kyat 750,000 or approximately taka 44,120, calculated at the present rate of 17 kyat to the taka.

In the absence of LC opening, one Bangladeshi bank, Arab Bangladesh Bank that has branches in Rangoon and Rakhine State, handles the money received by the Burmese traders.  Bangladeshi traders pay the price in US dollars to the bank, which issues the same at their Rangoon branch to the Burmese exporters, who then takes all the necessary steps to ship the fish.

For conducting the legal border trade all illegal cross-border smuggling along the common border has for some time come under severe check by both sides. 

The business leaders of Bangladesh speaking at a meeting between Federation of Bangladesh Chamber and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the visiting five-members Burma business delegation led by Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) President U Win Myint, held at the FBCCI conference room on 2nd June 03 said that visa restrictions, lack of transportation, and absence of effective transaction mechanism have been identified as the major hurdles to the growth of business between Bangladesh and Burma. 

Some Bangladesh business leaders also alleged in the meeting that they had signed contracts with their Burma counterparts during Bangladesh single country fair in Rangoon in March this year.  But they said no further progress has been made so far.

Since then the Burmese side has visibly come up with the idea of exporting the freshwater fish, sources said.

A merchant from Chittagong said that the foreign minister of Bangladesh, M Morshed Khan, owns the Arab Bangladesh Bank, also called as AB Bank.

In the same vein the Burmese export is also controlled heavily and owned by the Burmese military officers, said many of the Burmese sailors who came with the consignments. If that were true, fish trade is doomed to face a fishy future, alleged a businessman from Bangladesh. #