Transshipment deal with India likely this month
Bangladesh and India are expected to sign this month the much-talked-about transshipment agreement that would allow the latter to use Chittagong and Mongla ports to transport goods to its north-eastern states. The bilateral deal is expected to be signed during the shipping secretary-level meeting between the two countries. This will affect our manufacturing sector as we export a lot of goods to the north eastern states of India. The Indian government aimed to set up a waterway freight corridor to connect the mainland with the north-eastern states via Bangladesh at a cost of Rs 50 billion (5,000 crore). The freight corridor may reduce the cost of transportation by about 70 per cent. The Atrai enters into India from Naogaon district and after flowing through several Indian districts it re-enters Dinjapur in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi RMG getting popular for trade war: survey
Bangladesh is becoming a more popular apparel sourcing destination for Western retailers thanks to the ongoing US-China trade war. Among the respondents of the AI mid-year survey, up to three-quarters of businesses said they were already looking for suppliers in new countries or had plans to do so in 2018, and some of China’s long-standing competitors are emerging as their top choices. In Southeast Asia, the popularity of Vietnam and Cambodia is confirmed by the double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, a notable portion of companies working in the cost-sensitive textile sector have mentioned of plans to expand their sourcing to other Asian manufacturing hubs such as Bangladesh. On the micro level, Chinese businesses appear to be taking a somewhat relaxed attitude towards the trade war: among the survey respondents, only 36 percent of the Chinese companies said they felt affected by new US-China tariffs compared to almost 60 percent in the US. The Trump administration has so far levied 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese industrial goods and is considering imposing similar tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese exports. China immediately retaliated with a 25-percent tariff on imports of soy beans, other agricultural products and automobiles.
BB funds sought for safe rural transport
Bangladesh Bank should create a special fund to provide low-cost loans to rural people to help them buy modern vehicles to cut road accidents and for faster transport of vegetables. The income generation capacities of the rural people should be increased, awareness should be raised and roads should be improved to encourage them to use modern vehicles in daily life. We should build special roads adjacent to the highways and regional highways so that slow-moving vehicles can also ply on the main roads. Focus should also be given on inland waterways. Prohibiting Nasimon and Karimon is not the solution. The government should introduce safe vehicles in rural areas and raise awareness of the people.
Five companies recommend dividend up to 35 per cent
Five listed companies have recommended dividend ranging between 5.0 per cent and 35 per cent in last week for the year ended on June 30, 2018. The companies are IFAD Autos, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, Summit Alliance Port, The ACME Laboratories, and Bangladesh Lamps. Of the companies, IFAD Autos has recommended dividend in the form of both stock and cash, while others recommended only cash dividend. The earnings per share (EPS) of IFAD Autos has also rose significantly for the year ended on June 30, 2018. The board of directors of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company has recommended 5.0 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2018 against 12 per cent cash dividend disbursed for same period of the previous year. The company has reported EPS of Tk. 0.44 and NAV per share of Tk. 35.68 for the year ended on June 30, 2018 as against Tk. 1.93 and Tk. 36.44 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Summit Alliance Port has recommended 12.50 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2018 against 15 per cent cash dividend for previous year.
SEED makes debut in Bangladesh
Japan’s renowned contact lens brand SEED started its journey in Bangladesh recently through an inaugural ceremony in Dhaka. Vision Care Limited is the partner for SEED in Bangladesh. Attendees at the ceremony were eye specialist and optometrist of the country and delegates of the SEED brand from Japan. In 1951, SEED started research on contact lens for the first time in Japan. SEED is selling their lens in more than 24 countries, including China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany and Belgium. At an affordable price, SEED promises to give quality lens products to users. They are hopeful that they will be successful in marketing this product in Bangladesh.
Prices of toiletries shoot up
Prices of toiletries have shot up in recent months, burning a hole in the pocket of limited income group. Almost all types of soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, detergent and toilet cleaners saw a price hike of up to 27 per cent at retail markets over the past few months. Many manufacturers have also reduced the quantity of their product packs to adjust the prices, according to grocers. Prices of Lux beauty soap, weighing 100 gram, a product of Unilever Bangladesh, have increased to Tk 34 from Tk 30 and its 150 gm pack to Tk 45 from Tk 42 at the retail level over the last few months. The price of Unilever’s wheel brand, a market leader in cloth washing powders, soared to Tk 42 from Tk 35 per 500gm pack at the retail level. The price of Rin, a detergent brand of the Unilever and one of the most chosen fast-moving consumer goods brands in the country, increased by 26.3 per cent per kg. The price of Harpic, a product of Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh (RB Bangladesh) and a market leader among toilet cleaners, increased to Tk 100 from Tk 85, registering a 17.6 per cent hike. The price of Dettol soap (75 gm), another product of the company, went up to Tk 36 from Tk 32. Kohinoor Chemicals Co has increased the price of one of its products-Sandalina beauty soap-by Tk 1.0 and Tk 2.0 for its 75gm and 125gm pack respectively, according to grocers. Prices of shampoo (mini pack) of Head & Shoulders, Pantene, All Clear and Dove brands, have also increased by Tk 1.0 per mini pack, said Md Belal Hossain, a grocer at Shankar, West Dhanmondi, in the city. The robust growth of the cosmetics and toiletries sector over the last 18 years has turned it into one of the vital money-spinning areas with an annual turnover of approximately Tk 150 billion, according to BCTMA and Bangladesh Cosmetics and Toiletries Importers’ Association (BCTIA).
S Asia Maritime and Logistic Forum kicks off October 9
Bangladesh will focus on attracting more foreign investment in the shipping sector during the second South Asia Maritime and Logistic Forum (SAMLF) beginning in the capital on October 9. The two-day forum will be held at a city hotel, aiming to promote more cooperation in shipping and maritime sector among the South Asian countries. It will also discuss ways to develop infrastructure in the ports of South Asian countries. The ministry of shipping in cooperation with the Gateway Media Private Ltd. of India and Colombo Maritime Conference Events (CIMC) are going to organise the forum. Investment Opportunities and Infrastructure Development in Maritime Sector of Bangladesh’ will be held on the first day. Port infrastructure in South Asia, expanding and upgrading projects, capacities and operational efficiency, Logistics and Distribution Track: Cargo transportation, inland water transport, rail and road connections, coastal shipping and transshipment, airfreight and e-commerce’, ‘Maritime Allied Infrastructure: Dredging, shipbuilding and bunkering’, and ‘Policy Track: Barriers to intra-regional trade in South Asia and solutions.
Green Banking can help Bangladesh
People across the world are now more conscious about the environment. The focus is now on ‘green safety’ and ‘sustainable ecological balance’. This has led to the emergence of Green Banking which involves environmental and social responsibility. As is known, Bangladesh is one of the most environmentally affected countries of the world. Considering this situation, Bangladesh Bank developed the Green Banking Policy in 2011. Green financing under Green Banking activities can play a significant role in the transition to resource efficient and low carbon industries, i.e. green industry and green economy in general. There is potential for green financing in Bangladesh to help save the environment, ensure healthy working environment and gain competitive advantage by ensuring corporate social responsibility.
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