Call for FTA with KL to boost trade
Bangladesh business leaders and experts have accentuated the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia to boost bilateral trade and investment. They made the recommendation at a programme styled ‘Showcase Bangladesh-Go Global’ held at Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) hosted the daylong event in collaboration with Bangladesh high commission here. It was supported by Malaysia South-South Association, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority. “We’re thinking about signing the FTA between the two countries,” Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi said at the inaugural session of the event.
Dhaka Bank sets sights on digital transformation
Dhaka Bank is increasingly embracing digital transformation to serve its clients better as tech-savvy customers expect advanced services and products, its top executive said. “Digital innovations are the next big thing in the Banking sector. And we have decided to embrace the transformation to make Banking easier,” said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director of Dhaka Bank. He also added, consumers were increasingly choosing Banks based on their digital capabilities. So, mere online fund transfers from one branch to another and availability of a list of recent transactions on a smartphone are no longer deemed satisfactory. On the occasion of its 24th founding anniversary, the private commercial bank has taken up a plan to run 90 percent of its SME and retail banking programme using digital platforms within the next two years.
NBR sets uniform minimum import value of 700 products
The National Board of Revenue has set uniform minimum import value of more than 700 products of all countries for customs assessment scrapping the country-specific and region-based minimum value system. The NBR has also increased the minimum value for most of these products from that of the previous year to ensure proper revenue collection from import of the products and prevent duty evasion through misdeclaration. The customs wing of NBR on June 30 issued a statutory regulatory order in this connection following reservation expressed by many exporting countries, mainly from European Union, on the country and region specific minimum value system. Under the previous system, the minimum value of each product originating from EU, USA and other developed countries was set at a higher level than that of other countries including China, India and other Asian countries. Under the new system, the minimum value of a product from the list will be same for all countries. The value will be comparatively higher for a number of products, mainly clothes and footwear, of renowned brands than that of general brands.
Indian ship sails for first time to Narayanganj with Bhutanese stone
‘This is for the first time, an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transporting cargo between the two countries, using India for transit,’ said Indian State Minister for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya while digitally flagging-off the ship-MV AAI- on Friday. The first ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of crushed stones from Bhutan started its journey from Dhubri river port in Assam and will travel to Narayanganj in Bangladesh. Transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, and reduce transportation cost by 30 per cent, bringing down logistics costs. It will also be a more environment friendly mode of transport speaking on this occasion, Mandaviya said that the move would be beneficial to India as well as Bhutan and Bangladesh, and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.
AIIB pledges all-out support for Bangladesh
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will extend all-out financing support to Bangladesh in the coming days and has even agreed to let the country select its own projects as per its development demands. The development came at a meeting of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal with AIIB President Jin Liqun on the sidelines of the fourth annual meeting of the board of governors of the AIIB in Luxembourg yesterday. “AIIB will always respect the development preferences of Bangladesh,” Jin told Kamal at the meeting. Mr. Kamal informed Jin that Bangladesh will need financing support on energy, connectivity and social development, especially education, to sustain its current growth momentum into the next decade, according to a press statement from the finance ministry.
Nagad plans mobile top-up Business
Bangladesh Post Office’s mobile financial service Nagad is seeking to take over the mobile phone top-up business in the country, which last year saw credit recharges of around Tk 26,000 crore. The Posts and Telecommunications Division has asked all four mobile phone operators through the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to provide at least five “master SIM cards” each so that it could run the business using its 32,000 agent points. “Master SIM cards” help mobile operators connect with their distributors, who provide credits to agents, who in turn supply it to retailers. Terming it a “very sensitive” issue, the mobile operators declined giving an official comment. The apprehension is that Nagad’s move could hamper their business and give over substantial control to a government entity.
Rupali Insurance re-elects Chairman
Mostafa Golam Quddus has recently been re-elected Chairman of Rupali Insurance Company. The election took place at a 187th meeting of the board of directors. Mr. Quddus is Chairman of Dragon Group, a sweater producing Company. He was a former president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Researchers claim to have found antibiotics in milk, again
Researchers again claimed to have found traces of antibiotics in 10 samples of pasteurised and unpasteurised milk produced by several companies. Ten samples – seven pasteurised and three unpasteurised – were again tested last week, said a press release signed by Prof ABM Faruque, the former Director of Dhaka University’s Biomedical Research Centre. Pasteurised products of Pran, Milk Vita, Igloo, Aarong, and Farm Fresh were tested, the statement released on Saturday. “We’ll try to publish results of these tests and others in future for the sake of the people,” Prof Faruque said.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|FTSE100|| 7,505.97||↓3.85|| ↓0.05%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)|| $ 60.21||↑0.01||↑0.02%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 66.72||↑0.20|| ↑0.30%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,415.75||↑11.94||↑0.85%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.8899|
|GBP 1||BDT 104.1870|
|EUR 1||BDT 93.4004|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2085|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<