• Thursday, Feb 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:32 pm

Coronavirus fallout: ‘Govt looking for alternative markets for garlic’

  • Published at 01:05 am February 14th, 2020
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi
File photo: Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Dhaka Tribune

'I think if the situation lingers in China, it would be a matter of concerns for Bangladesh and we will have to go for alternative sourcing destinations'

The government was looking for alternative destinations beyond the traditional Chinese market for importing garlic, amid the soaring prices of the key cooking ingredient in local market due to supply disruption, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Thursday.

He said the government remained vigilant about the activities of traders.

The minister was talking to reporters after inaugurating the “7th International Fire Safety and Security Expo 2020” at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital. Electronics Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) organized the three- day long expo.

Tipu Munshi said, “I think if the situation lingers in China, it would be a matter of concerns for Bangladesh and we will have to go for alternative sourcing destinations.”

He said that the ministry sought opinions from businesses on the coronavirus outbreak fallout and the government would make decision based on the recommendations to be made by the apex trade body.

The FBCCI was supposed to submit a report last Monday on the impact of coronavirus outbreak in China on local economy, but the apex trade body failed to prepare it by the deadline.

Tipu Munshi said the trade body would submit the report within days and then the ministry would then start discussion on possible threats and remedies.

Garlic is one of the essential cooking ingredients which is mainly imported from China.

According to the data of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the imported garlic prices shot up recently, though locally grown garlic prices remained unchanged.

China accounted for about 80% of the world’s garlic supply, while 90% of the country’s garlic imported from the country, Tipu Munshi said.