Burma-Bangladesh trade talks scheduled for January

2418_1(Dhaka, 11 Dec 2013): Burma and Bangladesh are set to meet early next year to discuss about bilateral trades. High profile representatives from both the countries  are scheduled to sit for talks in the new Myanmarese capital city Naypyidaw, said a report published by  Bangladesh media outlets.

“The trade talks between the two neighboring countries are scheduled to take place in Naypyidaw on 9 &10 January next aiming to  enhance the stalled bilateral commerce and investment related agendas,” quoting Bangladesh commerce ministry officials, the media reported.

According to the report, a group of business representatives under the leadership of Bangladesh commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed will leave for Burma capital city for the talks. The Burmese team is expected to be led by Myanmar’s deputy commerce minister Pwint San in the discussions.

The Bangladesh commerce ministry officials are expecting a major breakthrough in the meeting as the Bangladesh airlines Biman has resumed Dhaka-Yangon air service since December 9 after a six-year long negotiation on the direct air connectivity between the two Asian nations.

The Bangladesh delegation is expected to include the officials from the Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue and from the ministries of commerce, foreign affairs, shipping, communications, agriculture and power. Representatives from the private-sectors of Bangladesh may also be accommodated in the delegation.

The issues of the talks will include the bilateral investment, establishment of wholesale markets in the Burma-Bangladesh frontier locations, cooperation measures in the fisheries & livestock sectors, import of hydroelectric power & natural gas from Burma etc. Similarly, the establishment of a joint-venture fertilizer plant in Bangladesh using Burmese gas will also be an area of priority in the talks.

Bangladesh exported goods worth $13.67 million against the import of $84 million to and from Burma in the 2012-2013 financial year.

Major export items from Bangladesh to Burma include textile, chemical, cement, medicine, leather & jute items. Bangladesh imports various goods like agricultural products including rice, pea, onion with wood, timber & frozen fish items from Burma.