Trade misinvoicing persists in BD: GFI
Continued mismatch or value gap in reported bilateral trade of Bangladesh with the rest of the world has indicated that trade misinvoicing is persisting there. The latest report of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research organisation, estimated the value gap of 135 developing countries including Bangladesh and 36 advanced economies over a ten-year period between 2008 and 2017. The report, released on Tuesday, showed that Bangladesh’s average trade value mismatch with all the trading partners (170 countries for the GFI report) stood at around 18.0 per cent of the country’s total trade. For Bangladesh, the amount of annual average value gap was estimated at US$7.53 billion. GFI estimation also showed that the highest value gap was recorded at $11.51 billion in 2015. The value gap or mismatch is a difference between the reported trade data of two countries. For instance, if Ecuador reported exporting bananas worth $20 million to the United States (US) in 2016 and the US reported having imported bananas valued at only $15 million from Ecuador that year. This would reflect a mismatch or value gap of $5 million. GFI report further showed that Bangladesh’s annual average value gap in trade with 36 advanced economics stood at $3.29 billion and the amount was estimated at 14.62 per cent of total trade. In the previous report, released in 2017, GFI said some 12-17 per cent of the country’s total trade value had annually flown out of Bangladesh during 2005-2014 through trade misinvoicing and other illegal transfers. The annual average amount of illicit financial flow was estimated at $7.58 billion.
AIIB approves $ 200m loan for electricity project in BD
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a 200-million-US-dollar loan for a Bangladeshi project to improve access to electricity and service efficiency in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. It is estimated that poor power supply has resulted in about 2-3 per cent loss to Bangladesh’s gross domestic product annually, with significant sums spent on diesel generators for backup, said the bank. By 2025, it said the Dhaka and Western Zone Transmission Grid Expansion Project is expected upon completion to reduce the number of annual power outages to 15 (from 60), reduce transmission loss to 2.50 per cent (from 2.76 percent) and add 7,440 megavolt-amperes of power transmission capacity. The project will lead to the construction of 408 kilometers of transmission lines, and will also have a positive environmental impact, reducing average annual carbon dioxide emissions by 455,785 tonnes. The country is also rapidly urbanizing with nearly half its population expected to live in urban areas by 2025.
BEZA gets $20.5b investment proposals
Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has received investment proposals amounting to around US $ 20.50 billion from 151 local and foreign business entities thanks to various steps of government to attract new investments, officials said, reports BSS. BEZA is responsible for establishing and managing of state-run special economic zones (SEZs) across the country. Out of the investment proposals, top officials of BEZA said, around $2.80 billion has already been invested in different SEZs. Around $4.808 billion will come as foreign direct investment (FDI) from different companies in Japan, China, South Korea, India, Thailand, Australia, the UK, the Netherland and the USA.
IDLC launches VC fund
IDLC Finance Limited on Tuesday launched its first ‘Venture Capital Fund’ worth of Tk 450 million to invest in early stage tech based start-ups in the country. The government has launched start-up fund four years back that invested in 10 start-ups out of total 350 applicants, he said adding: at least several of these companies now valued over Tk 1.0 billion. The start-ups have received only Tk 1.0 million to Tk 2.5 million as seed money which they used to make their position stable in the market within only two to three years. The future of tech-based start-ups is very bright in the country as over 60 per cent of the population in the country is aged below 30 years while internet penetration has reached 55 per cent in 2018. Individual investors can invest with a minimum ticket size of Tk 5.0 million, and institutional investors can invest with a minimum ticket size of Tk 20 million.
UCB inks MoU with JBFH
United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) signed an MoU with Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital on Monday at the corporate office of the bank. Under the MoU, all credit, debit cardholders and employees of UCB will enjoy up to 40 per cent discount facilities on pathology, radiology, Imagine and other services of Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital.
Coca-Cola to invest $200m in Bangladesh
The Coca-Cola Company, one of the world’s top three beverage manufacturers, plans to further expand its Bangladesh operations by investing $200 million over the next five years. Coca-Cola has already invested more than $100 million in Bangladesh but to expand its operations in a sustainable manner, the company will need to understand and align itself with the country’s priorities. In 2015, Coca-Cola brought its 5by20 initiative to Bangladesh and established the country’s first Women Business Centres (WBC). 5by20 is a global initiative that aims to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. By the end of 2020, more than 100,000 Bangladeshi women and their families are expected to benefit from the project, which is currently active in Jamalpur, Khulna and Bagerhat. Currently, there are about 240 WBCs working to empower more than 70,000 women across the country.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,466.07187||↑ 31.25||↑ 0.70 %|
|↓ 785.91||↓ 2.94 %|
|FTSE100||6,718.20||↑ 63.31||↑ 0.95 %|
|Nikkei 225||21,156.99||↑ 74.26||↑ 0.35 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 47.93||↑ 0.75||↑ 1.59 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 52.70||↑ 0.84||↑ 1.62 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,643.02||↑ 2.12||↑ 0.13 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.2030|
|GBP 1||BDT 106.434|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.7319|
|INR 1||BDT 1.13692|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<