- March 20, 2018
The first partnership dialogue between Bangladesh and US was held in September last year in Washington
Labour rights issues will dominate the second partnership dialogue to be held between Dhaka and Washington on May 26-27.
“There would be discussion on trade and investment, as you would have expected, as well as on the tragedies of Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions. There would be discussion on how to ensure that such tragedies are never repeated,” US Ambassador Dan W Mozena told journalists at a press briefing on Wednesday.
A CAG audit hints at corruption during the 2010 sale of shares by Dhabi Group to Bharti Airtel
The price of a 70% stake of Warid Telecom was $100,000 (Tk7.8m) when Bharti Airtel bought it from Dhabi Group in 2010. Three years later, the remaining 30% stake is about to fetch Dhabi Group $65m from the same buyer.
Bharti Airtel recently applied to the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission to acquire the remaining stake from Dhabi Group. This makes Warid Telecom’s sell value in 2010 more than 1,500 times what it was just three years ago.
Four mobile phone operators pay Tk2.4bn since November 2011
An amount of Tk2.4bn which BTRC has collected from four mobile phone operators under a social obligation fund (SoF)remains lying idle as government is yet to formulate any guideline on how to utilise the fund.
“Formulation of rules for using the fund is now on final stage. It has been awaiting finance ministry’s approval for last few months,” said Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The WTO cell issued a circular on the formation of the core group with representatives from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute
The government has formed a core group to advise Bangladesh’s position on Doha Round negotiation as the ninth ministerial conference of World Trade Organisation (WTO) is scheduled to be held in Bali, Indonesia in the first week of December this year. Official sources said on trade facilities and negotiation.
Majority of the group members are representatives from different trade bodies, group convenor and Bangladesh Tariff Commission Member Dr Mostafa Abid Khan told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday, following formation of the 13-member group.
Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA) wrote to labour ministry to make it mandatory for the factory owners to ensure the workers’ insurance coverage
Insurers on Monday recommended the government of bringing all the apparel industry workers under the insurance coverage to ensure due compensation in case of their death.
Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA) wrote to labour ministry to make it mandatory for the factory owners to ensure the workers’ insurance coverage.
Political turmoil is harming the business and investment potential and the image of the country, foreign investors say
Six foreign trade bodies have expressed deep concern over frequent strikes in Bangladesh as the unrest is affecting the investment potentials and discouraging the foreign investors.
The recent developments in Bangladesh were harming the business and investment potentials and the image of the country, they said in a joint statement released on Saturday, following their meeting in Dhaka.
“The strikes are discouraging the foreign investors and this would ultimately have a severe impact on the economy of the country,” said the statement.
The foreign minister informed the lawmaker about recent steps the government has taken to ensure labour rights in the country
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has underscored the importance of ethical buying and responsible behaviour by foreign buyers to ensure labour welfare.
“An ethical pricing and responsible role of the buyers are extremely important for advancing factory safety and labour welfare,” she said during her meeting with US Congressman Joseph Crowley in Washington on Wednesday, according to a press release issued by the ministry.
Congressman Crawley is the co-chair of Bangladesh Caucus in the US Congress.
An Industry Ministry committee has primarily selected Dr Syed Humayun Kabir, a former BSTI official, for the post of director general of SARSO
South Asian Regional StandardsOrganisation(SARSO), located in Dhaka,is likely to begin its operation soon, bringing an opportunity for Bangladeshi exporters to actively participate in its policy-making process.
An Industry Ministry committee has primarily selected Dr Syed Humayun Kabir, a former BSTI official, for the post of director general of SARSO.
The selection was made at a committee meeting yesterday, said the industry ministry sources. The selection of DG will be sent to the Governing Board of SARSO for approval.
The only bidding company offers Tk30m more cost than government’s estimate of Tk620m
The Government is likely to award Energypac, a leading power engineering company in Bangladesh, works of constructing and renovating 11 sub-stations to increase power supply to those urban areas.
Energypac was the lone company which had submitted the tender papers, though two more companies bought tender papers, said a senior official in Power Division.
As Power Division had no other options, it had to award the work to Energypac at Tk650m cost, which is Tk30m more than its estimate.
The interconnection charge is Tk0.18 per minute at present
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken initiatives to create business opportunities for PSTN and IP phone operators through a special package, named “differential baseline tariff”.
Under the package created recently, the telecommunications regulator has reduced interconnection charges for making calls to a mobile phone network from PSTN (public switched telephone network) or IP (internet protocol) phone operators.
The current two-way trade is close to $100m and it could double or treble within a short period of time
A joint chamber of Bangladesh and the Philippines will be formed to boost trade and investment between the two countries.
“I had a meeting with local businessmen yesterday (Sunday) and they agreed to form the chamber,” Philippines ambassador to Dhaka Bahnarim Abu Guinmla told the Dhaka Tribune at the state guest house Padma yesterday.
The current two-way trade is close to $100m and it could double or treble within a short period of time, he said.
The ministry of commerce had included the proposal as a supplementary agenda for the cabinet meeting on Sunday night, but backed off from placing it in the meeting to get the cabinet’s approval
Included in the agenda at the eleventh hour, the proposal for signing the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) treaty was not tabled at the cabinet meeting on Monday.
The ministry of commerce had included the proposal as a supplementary agenda for the cabinet meeting on Sunday night, but backed off from placing it in the meeting to get the cabinet’s approval.
After the meeting, a senior minister told the Dhaka Tribune that the ministry was “prepared” to table the proposal at the cabinet meeting.
The tanners’ association demanded of the National Board of Revenue to withdraw the provision of 5% income tax and 15% value added tax (VAT) on finished leather
Leather industry stakeholders yesterday urged Finance Minister AMA Muhith to allocate a fund in the upcoming budget for installation of a central effluent treatment plant (CETP) at the proposed new industrial zone for leather industry in Savar.
Leaders of the Bangladesh Tanners Association and Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods & Footwear Exporters’ Association also sought a compensation package for transferring their factories from Hazaribagh to Savar.
A development fair began on Sunday at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre
The Palli Karmo Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) will set up a centre in the city so that rural small entrepreneurs can exhibit their products and sell them.
“We have already bought a piece of land in the city’s Shyamoli area. The construction will start soon,” Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the chairman of the PKSF said on Sunday.
He said associate members of the PKSF could exhibit and sell their products at the centre for which they do not have to pay the rent.
There is a disparity between the prices for rural entrepreneurs and urban traders.
Growth in exports to fast-growing markets outside the European Union helped narrow Britain’s trade deficit
Britain's trade deficit in goods narrowed slightly in March, fuelled by a rise in exports to fast-growing markets outside the European Union.
Exports of goods to other EU member states were flat, but sales to non-EU countries were up 10% on the previous month, while exports to the US soared 21% on February's level.
Separate figures showing a surge in construction activity during March also supported the improving economic picture in recent months that allowed the UK to avoid a triple-dip recession.
A 21-member delegation of China National Garment Association visited nine factories in Bangladesh in last two days
Chinese apparel sector entrepreneurs yesterday expressed interest to invest in Bangladesh as they found many factories here adequately compliant.
They expressed the interest at a time when the industry is facing criticisms from developed countries like the European Union, USA and Canada following the tragic incidents of Tazrin Fashion and Rana Plaza.
Bangladesh has been enjoying reduced tariff facility because of WTO, and it is working hard to retain GSP facility in the US
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday recommended that the government carefully analyse the clauses of free trade agreements (FTAs) as they often create challenges, rather than opportunities.
The FTA negotiations are important, but benefits should be carefully analysed before signing of the accords, the chamber president, Sabur Khan, said at a seminar on “Free Trade Agreements, Opportunities and Challenges for Bangladesh: framework issues,” organised by the DCCI.
The US is currently reviewing GSP facility for Bangladesh and the outcome of the review is expected to be made by the end of this month or the first half of June
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will discuss the generalised system of preference (GSP) issue with her US counterpart John Kerry on May 17.
“We will have a meeting on May 17 and discuss the GSP issue, the recent tragic accidents and the government’s actions so far,” she said at a press briefing at the ministry on Wednesday evening.
Dipu will leave Dhaka on May 12 to attend a meeting at the United Nations on human trafficking in New York and from there she will go to Washington to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The commerce ministry officials will sit together today to prepare proposals for a new apparel board
The government has moved to bring back Bangladesh Apparel Board for regulating the readymade garment and textile sector after hundreds of workers died in the country’s most deadly industrial accident.
Prime Minister’s Office gave primary consent to the matter while commerce ministry is now working on it, said a senior official in the ministry of commerce.
The commerce ministry officials will sit together today to prepare proposals for a new apparel board.
The survivors, mostly women, want the BGMEA to pay four months’ wages
Though workers from Rana Plaza were asked to collect wages yesterday, over a thousand employees of the five garment factories located in the collapsed building returned empty-handed after waiting all day.
Amena Begum, one of the workers waiting there, told the Dhaka Tribune around 5:30pm, “We were asked to report within 3pm to collect our wages, we came, but the authorities did not pay our wages.”