Medicine exports to developed markets on the rise
Medicine exports to the developed countries are steadily growing riding on the attainment of regulatory approval from the US, European and some other countries helped by Bangladesh’s capacity to produce high-quality drugs at affordable prices. As a result, shipment rose significantly in the markets of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Denmark in the last three years. Bangladesh shipped drugs worth $14.97 million to the US in the last fiscal year of 2020-21, strongly rebounding from the coronavirus-induced slowdown a year ago when manufacturers could bring in $1.05 million only. The shipment stood at $13.6 million in FY2018-19, data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed. Among the developed countries, Denmark has emerged as the second-largest export destination for Bangladesh, with receipts surging nearly 14 times to $2.43 million in FY21 from $0.18 million in FY20. The exports to Canada rose to $1.34 million in FY21, up 62 per cent from $0.83 million the year prior. Medicine sales fetched $2.42 million from the UK in the last fiscal year, an increase from $0.47 million in FY20 but a decrease from $2.6 million in FY19.
Suspicious transactions rife
Suspicious financial transactions and activities increased significantly in the last fiscal in Bangladesh, mainly as “fraudulent activities” in e-commerce and multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses saw a spurt. Such irregularities are evident in the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) annual report for FY’21 released Tuesday. Submission of reports on suspicious transactions and activities soared 43.67 per cent to 5,280 in the FY 2020-21, from 3,675 in a year before, according to the BFIU report. Such reports submitted by banks rose to 20.57 million transactions amounting to Tk 14436.21 billion in FY’21, from 16.14 million transactions amounting to Tk 11719.29 billion) in the previous fiscal year. Non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) sent 1267 transactions amounting to Tk 2.08 billion against 2177 transactions amounting to Tk 3.02 billion. Under the existing provisions, the banks and NBFIs will have to submit CTRs on both withdrawal and deposit within the third week of the next month. Both banks and NBFIs have to report it if an amount of Tk 1.0 million or more is deposited in or withdrawn in cash from a particular account in a single day.
Bepza, StanChart team up to attract investment to EPZs
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) and Standard Chartered yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance mutual cooperation to attract more investment for the export processing zones. Standard Chartered will support Bepza to organise various trade and investment-related conferences, seminars, roundtable meetings and exhibitions at home and abroad, according to a statement released by the bank. Ali Reza Mazid, member of Bepza, and Enamul Huque, managing director and head of client coverage, corporate commercial and institutional banking at Standard Chartered, signed the MoU at Bepza Complex in Dhaka. Bepza Executive Chairman Major General Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman and Standard Chartered CEO Naser Ezaz Bijoy witnessed the signing ceremony.
BRAC Bank launches multi-currency debit card
BRAC Bank has launched a multi-currency debit card to enable the customers to do international transactions and purchase from international e-commerce sites. The customers can now use this VISA debit card at hotels, restaurants, shops while travelling abroad, avail medical services in foreign hospitals, purchase foreign software, boost advertisements on social media, and many more. Since this is a debit card, the customers can now shake off their worries about interest charges or late fees, which are not applicable here. Moreover, they can enjoy discounts at more than 300 partner merchants. The cardholders can withdraw cash from any VISA ATM 24/7 from any part of the world. The customer can also use this card in Bangladesh for withdrawal from any ATM, shopping, dining, POS and e-commerce transaction, just like any other regular debit card. Not only this, customers will earn reward points for local and international transactions through this card. They can use their reward points to redeem previous purchases.