Narinjara News 


Extension of account trade deal with Burma sought


Dhaka March 15:  An inter-ministerial meeting of Bangladesh here on March 13 decided to seek cabinet approval to extend Bangladesh-Burma agreement on account trade by one year, according to yesterday’s The Daily Star.

The meeting observed that the bilateral trade under the “convenient” mode of payment-settlement system remained unutilised during the initial period.


The Bangladesh-Burma agreement, which expires March 18, on the special trading arrangement hardly yielded any benefit to augment the paltry bilateral trade in first quarter of its tenure.


The account trade became effective in January this year under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in March last year for a year to boost the two-way trade.


As per the resolution, the two sides have agreed to review the progress of account trade quarterly.


“The trade did not take place at a level where a review can made,” a meeting source told the news agency.


Forty-four Bangladeshi products are entitled to enjoy the facilities of account trade against Burma’s 24 items. Sonali Bank of Bangladesh and Burma Investment and Commercial Bank have been assigned to facilitate the trade under the system that allows payments after certain agreed period of two-way trading instead of payment settlement on consignment basis.


Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, who chaired the meeting at his ministry, told newsmen that the recommendation would be submitted to the cabinet for approval.


He said the meeting also decided to set-up a duty-free sales and display centre at Teknaf in a bid to boost the country exports to Burma.


The Minister expected that the centre would be operational within a year.


Bangladesh suffers a trade deficit of $34.78 million with the next-door neighbour, importing goods worth $35.90 million against its exports worth $1.12 million only, official said. #