MYANMAR BIMSTEC SUMMIT
4 negotiated trade deals not in agendaNazmul Ahsan
A number of agreements on trade and commerce already negotiated among BIMSTEC member states have not been included in the agenda of the 7-nation summit of the economic cooperation group, slated to be held in Myanmar on March 4.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to lead a 25-member delegation to attend the summit of the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to be held in Myanmar capital Naypyidaw.
The ministerial meeting, to be attended by foreign ministers of the 7-nation economic block, was not held for the last about five years to endorse the agreed draft agreements, a pre-condition before placing those at the summit for formal signing among the member states.
A row between Dhaka and Colombo over hosting the secretariat of BIMSTEC held back the ministerial meeting and stalled the process of endorsing the draft agreements, a senior official of the commerce ministry said.
Sri Lanka, one of the founding members of the group, has been showing zero interest over going ahead with the four negotiated agreements as the country was denied to host the BIMSTEC secretariat at the second summit of the block in 2008.
The summit approved Dhaka to host the secretariat that resulted in the non-cooperation from Colombo to forge ahead with trade and economic cooperation.
An inter-ministerial meeting held last week at the foreign ministry discussed the impediments to in the way of making the next BIMSTEC summit a success, a senior official at the foreign ministry said.
State minister for foreign affairs Shariar Alam presided over the meeting. The meeting, however, failed to take any decision ahead of the summit, other than stocktaking of the progress and failures of BIMSTEC after it was launched in 1997.
The foreign ministry officials were rather busy to arrange a meeting between prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh at the sideline of the summit.
‘We see no chance of taking forward the negotiated four trade agreements under the BIMSTEC framework as no ministerial meeting was held in the last five years to endorse the draft deals,’ an official at the ministry of foreign affairs said.
‘The forthcoming summit could be largely a ceremonial, rather than focused,’ the official said on condition of anonymity.
Both Bangladesh and India are the members of BIMSTEC. The other members are Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan.
The draft agreements were on trade in goods in BIMSTEC free trade area (BFTA), a protocol to amend the
framework agreement on BFTA, agreement on dispute settlement procedures and mechanism of the BFTA and agreement on cooperation in customs matters for BFTA, an official in the commerce ministry said.
The BFTA was signed in February, 2004. However, no breakthrough has so far been visible after signing the agreement.
Enhancing trade and investment through eliminating duties in phases among member countries is the prime objective of signing the proposed agreements, under the umbrella agreement, the BIMSTEC framework agreement.
comments powered by Disqus
Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday asked commercial banks to establish a special unit for recovering the defaulted loans which were rescheduled on political consideration in the last quarter of the 2013, said BB officials. The BB instruction came in a meeting... Full story
Safety experts appointed by the European retailers will start today inspection of around 1,500 Bangladesh garment factories from where they procure products, said an official of the retailers group on Tuesday. The Accord on Fire and Building... Full story
Experts and garment factory owners on Tuesday put emphasis on formulating rules and regulations for the overseas engineers who would inspect garment factories under the initiatives of global retailers. They said that there should be a... Full story
The mobile phone companies have demanded relaxing the standards of several service quality parameters set by the telecom regulator including the record keeping provision to three months from existing three years. The Association of Mobile Telephone... Full story
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday fined five brokerage houses and investors Tk 28 lakh for violation of different securities rules and irregularities in share transaction. The BSEC took the decision in a regular commission... Full story
Dhaka stocks declined for the fourth trading session on Tuesday despite late trading session recovery as investors’ confidence is yet to restore after the formation of new boards for Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges including major independent directors. Full story
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday approved an initial public offering worth Tk 35 crore of Tung Hai Knitting and Dyeing to float 3.50 crore shares at face value at Tk 10. The BSEC made the approval in a regular... Full story
Malaysia is the world’s friendliest destination for Muslim travellers, according to a survey released on Tuesday, but Japan has shown most improvement as it ramps up efforts to cash in on a growing market. Malaysia was followed by the United... Full story
Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu on Tuesday sought Japanese investment in gas exploration, power sector, communication network and infrastructure, and agro-based industries in the country. At a meeting with Japanese ambassador... Full story
A four-day International Plastic Fair, jointly organised by Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Chan Chao International, a Taiwan based entity, will start on Thursday at Bangabandhu International Conference Center. Full story
Square Textiles managing director Tapan Chowdhury and Sonali Paper and Board Mills managing director Mohammed Younus have recently been re-elected the president and vice-president respectively of the Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies... Full story
Habibur Rahman has recently been promoted to deputy managing director of Prime Bank, said a news release. Prior to his new assignment, he served as senior executive vice-president and head of Emerging Market of the bank. Habibur started his banking... Full story
Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Tuesday with cold weather in the United States pushing demand for heating fuel higher and credit growth in China also giving support. Investors were awaiting fresh leads following the closure... Full story