FoB imports flourish to consignees’ comfort
Bangladesh’s imports through FoB arrangement are rising rapidly, implying that overseas procurement is now dominated by local consignees in a paradigm shift in external trade. But large importers, who have transport facilities under their own command, disagree with the changes in freights in import trade. Earlier, the proportion of imports through free-on-board (FoB) arrangement was very insignificant, registering around 10 per cent of the total. Now this is almost on a par with the trade under cost and freight (C&F) modality. In case of the FoB imports, the freight charges are usually paid by the importers on delivery, while in case of C&F, the sellers are charged. Traders and shipping-insiders say if the import through the FoB line rises, the importers may gain from the fluctuations in international shipping freights. They said the consignees also get a temporary relief from payment for the freights earlier as under the FoB methods they pay after receiving the cargoes. But a number of leading importers say that the import trade is still being dominated by the C&F mode of operations. They argue that there are some big groups with some large vessels who carry their own goods. Otherwise, there is something “wrong” in the measurements of the F0B and C&F arrangements. According to central bank statistics, Bangladesh imported through FoB goods equivalent to US$ 17.14 billion in July-October period of this fiscal year. On the other hand, imports settled through C&F were worth $18.52 billion during the period. And their annual percentage charges were almost same at 28.7 per cent, according to the Bangladesh Bank official data.
BDT deflates 5.15pc against US$ in a year
The Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated by 5.15 per cent against the US dollar ($) during the last one year despite selling of the greenback by the central bank to keep the foreign exchange (forex) market stable. The US$ was quoted at Tk 82.75 each in the inter-bank forex market on Monday against Tk 78.70 a year before, according to the marker operators. Such depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar may fuel inflationary pressures on the economy in the near future, according to the market operators. The central bank directly sold $1.10 billion to the commercial banks from July 01, 2017 to January 08, 2018 as part of its ongoing foreign currency support. “We’re selling the foreign currency to the banks to help settle the outstanding letters of credit (LCs) against imports, particularly of fuel oils, food grains and capital machinery,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Monday. Such liquidity support may continue in line with the market requirement, the central banker hinted.
New DMD of Rupali Bank Quamruzzaman Chowdhury
Quamruzzaman Chowdhury has recently been appointed as Deputy Managing Director of Rupali Bank Limited, said a statement. Prior to his promotion, Quamruzzaman Chowdhury served as the General Manager of Sonali Bank Limited. During his tenure with the bank, he worked in different divisions of Sonali Bank head office.
$245m deal with WB today
The government is set to sign a US $245 million additional loan agreement with the World Bank (WB) to ensure equity, efficiency and transparency in safety-net programmes. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank country director Qimiao Fan will sign the agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the NEC-II Conference Room at the ERD in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar today (Tuesday), reports BSS. With the additional financing, the Washington-based lending agency’s total commitment to the project stands at $745 million while the project will end on June 30, 2019, said an official of World Bank. The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent.
Jute, jute goods exports to India slump by 48pc in H1 on ADD, lower demand
Exports of jute and jute goods to India slumped by 47.62 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal year (2017-18) compared with that in the same period of last fiscal year (2016-2017) from the shock of anti-dumping duty India imposed on Bangladeshi jute products in January last year. Export earnings from jute and jute goods slipped to $55.81 million in July-December of FY18 from $106.54 million in the same period of FY17, according to the latest data of the Export Promotion Bureau. The overall exports to India, however, increased by 5.84 per cent to $361.91 million in the period from that of $341.45 million in the corresponding period riding on the growth of readymade garment export, the data showed. RMG, both knit and woven, exports jumped by 66 per cent in July-December of FY18. Demand for Bangladeshi apparel products, particularly woven, increased in the country. Bangladesh exported apparel products worth $111.32 million in the first six months of this fiscal year against $66.88 million in the same period of last fiscal year.
NBR sets conditions for firms in economic zones
The government made obtaining the local sales permit (LSP) mandatory for the industries in Bangladesh’s economic zones if they were willing to sell their products for domestic consumption. Also, they will be required to obtain local procurement permit (LPP) to enjoy tax and duty benefit on purchase of raw materials and semi-finished goods from domestic market under the bonded-warehouse facility. The twin rules came from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for the firms from home and abroad that are setting up industries in the country’s special economic zones. As per the rules, officials said, the factories will have to obtain the permit from the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) to produce before the customs authority. The customs wing of the NBR issued Thursday a revised order amending its standing order on the customs (economic zones) procedures 2017.
Govt to lift ban on hilsa export
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda said on Monday that the government will lift ban on hilsa export soon, reports UNB. The minister came up with the information while responding to reporters at the conference room of the ministry Morning after a press briefing. “We want to export hilsa, as its production has increased as well as demand in the international market,” said Narayan. On August 1, 2012, the government imposed ban on hilsa export.
Novoair completes 5 years of operations
Private carrier Novoair completes five years of operations today with a pledge to offer better services by adding more aircraft and destinations. “Novoair has always given priority to its customers’ safety and security, comfort and on-time departure,” said Mofizur Rahman, managing director of the airline that spread wings on January 9 in 2013 with flights on Dhaka-Chittagong route. By ensuring top-class and on-time services, Novoair has earned trust and satisfaction of its passengers and become the airline of choice in Bangladesh, Rahman said in a statement yesterday. He said the company’s commitment in the sixth year will be to ensure safe passenger services by adding more aircraft to its fleet and expand domestic and international destinations. Novoair has so far operated more than 33,000 flights and served around 15 lakh customers on domestic and international routes with a remarkable 97.57 percent on-time performance, the airline said.
Temp hits historic low at 2.6 degrees Celsius in Tentulia
The lowest ever temperature of the country’s history was recorded 2.6 degrees Celsius in Tentulia upazila of Panchagarh districton Monday morning, hitting poor people hard, report agencies. At least 12 people, including six children, died of cold-related diseases in Rajshahi, Kurigram and Thakurgaon districts in the last four days as the northern districts bear the brunt of a cold wave sweeping the country. Zakir Hossain, an official at the Tentulia Meteorological observatory office, said the mercury fell to 2.6 degrees Celsius in the morning which is the lowest ever temperature in the history of last 67 years.
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