Business

July-Aug trade gap reaches $2.11b

trade deficit

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s trade deficit crossed US$ 2.0 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, mainly due to its higher import payments than lower export receipts, reported news agency. The gap in trade with the rest of the world rose to $ 2.11 billion in the July-August period of FY 19, from $ 1.77 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal. The trade deficit registered a 19.31 per cent growth during the period under review, according to the latest statistics of Bangladesh Bank (BB). The overall import grew by 5.66 per ...

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Saudi deports over 500 migrants in 15 days

migrants

MNA Business Desk: Bangladeshi workers have kept returning from Saudi Arabia in an increasing number since the kingdom started deporting the undocumented migrants, reported news agency. Statistics at the Probasi Kalyan Desk at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) show that more than 500 Bangladeshi male workers returned home from the Arab country between September 26 and October 10 this year. Of the total, 106 arrived on Wednesday. Besides, about 450 more workers are still waiting at the deportation centre in the Middle Eastern country to be repatriated in phases, according to returnee workers Police are arresting 200 workers on ...

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Human Capital Index: Bangladesh beats India, Pakistan

human capital

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank Group unveiled a new system on Thursday to rank countries based on their success in developing human capital, an effort to prod governments to invest more effectively in education and healthcare, reported news agency. The bank’s “Human Capital Index,” showed Bangladesh ahead of India and Pakistan, but one neighbour in South Asia shines brighter — Sri Lanka. Poor African countries fared the worst in the rankings, with Chad and South Sudan taking the two lowest spots, while Singapore topped the list, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. The rankings, based on health, ...

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ECNEC approves 20 development projects

development projects

MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved 20 development projects involving Tk 325.25 billion. The approval was given at the 146th ECNEC meeting of the current government held at the NEC conference room. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave the information while briefing reporters after the meeting. “The total estimated cost of the 20 projects is Tk 325.25 billion. Of the cost, Tk 154.94 billion will come from government funds, while Tk 116.56 billion from the own funds of the organisations concerned and Tk 53.74 billion as foreign assistance,” he said. Of ...

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IMF cuts global growth forecast to 3.7%

growth

MNA Business Desk: An upswing in economic risks due to rising trade tensions and debt levels has prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cut its forecast for world growth for this year and next, reported news agency. With trade growth set to slow sharply amid a trade war between the United States and China, the IMF cut its outlook for global GDP by two-tenths to 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019, according to the quarterly World Economic Outlook Report issued Monday. The revised estimates includes a worsening outlook for developing economies this year and next compared to the July ...

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Nobel prize for economics awarded to William Nordhaus, Paul Romer

Nobel prize

MNA Business Desk: The 2018 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, more commonly known as the Nobel prize for economics, has been awarded to William Nordhaus and Paul Romer for innovation, climate and economic growth. William Nordhaus is being recognised for his work on the damage caused by climate change, reported news agency. Paul Romer has examined how economists can achieve a healthy rate of economic growth. The models that Nordhaus and Romer have created have helped with the development of economic growth, and with combatting climate change, we’re hearing. They have taken macroeconomics to ...

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Foundations for fully-fledged stock market laid: Muhith

stock market

MNA Business Desk: Finance minister AMA Muhith has said the stock market has not yet been completely established in Bangladesh, but the foundation has been laid, reported news agency. “A fully-fledged stock market will soon be built on the foundation,” he said at the inaugural session of “World Investor Week-2018.” He stated this on Sunday at Krishibid Institute, Bangladesh, in Farmgate, Dhaka. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has organized the event in a bid to raise awareness among stock investors. The week is being observed in accordance with a declaration of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)—a global ...

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Russia-India sign $5 billion arms deal

billion

MNA Business Desk: India inked a $5 billion deal to buy five Russian S-400 air defense systems despite a looming threat of U.S. sanctions. The deal was signed on Friday in New Delhi during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss nuclear energy, space exploration and trade, reported news agency. India has requested that the U.S. grant it a waiver for the deal from sanctions prescribed by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a U.S. law passed in August 2017 that is intended to punish Russia for its annexation ...

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EU considers trade sanctions on Myanmar

trade sanctions

MNA Business Desk: The European Union is considering trade sanctions on Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis, potentially stripping the country of tariff-free access to the world’s largest trading bloc, three EU officials said. The sanctions, under discussion at the European Commission, would include Myanmar’s lucrative textile industry and potentially put at risk thousands of jobs there but would not come into effect immediately, giving the EU leverage to stop what the West says is ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya, reported news agency. Even by triggering a six-month review process on whether to impose trade sanctions, which could be reversed if ...

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WB forecasts 7.0pc growth for Bangladesh in FY19

forecast

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank has forecast a growth rate of 7.0 per cent for Bangladesh this fiscal year on the back of robust private investment, increased exports and remittance inflows. The projection is lower than the Asian Development Bank’s estimate of 7.5 per cent and the government’s 7.8 per cent for fiscal 2018-19, reported news agency. Driven by strong domestic demand, Bangladesh’s economy remains among the fastest growing economies in the developing world and it would grow at an even faster pace if it implemented economic reforms, the World Bank said in a new report launched in Dhaka. ...

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IMF appoints Gita Gopinath as chief economist

growth

MNA Business Desk: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed Gita Gopinath as its chief economist. Gopinath currently serves as the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. She will succeed Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of 2018, as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department, the IMF said in a media release on Monday. “Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said of ...

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Canada, US reach deal to save NAFTA

NAFTA

MNA Business Desk: The United States and Canada reached a deal on Sunday to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact with Mexico, beating a midnight deadline with agreements to substantially boost American access to Canada’s dairy market and protect Canada from possible US auto tariffs, reported news agency. President Donald Trump had threatened to splinter the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement into a bilateral pact with Mexico and tax Canadian vehicle exports to the United States if Ottawa had failed to sign on before a midnight Sunday. But Trump has approved the “framework” deal with Canada, a source ...

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Canadian FM postpones UN address to focus on NAFTA

address

MNA Business Desk: Canadian Foreign Minister postponed her country’s 2018 address to the United Nations General Assembly to work on ongoing talks with US regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the government said Saturday. For the past month, Canada has been locked intense discussions with the United States to reach common ground on revamping NAFTA after Mexico and Washington said they had reached a deal on Aug. 27. Mexico on Friday said the US Trump administration and Canada were making efforts to resolve their differences, raising hopes the pact could be kept trilateral. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spokesman ...

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UAE keen to invest more in Bangladesh

invest

MNA Business Desk: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed interest to invest more in Bangladesh considering the potential economic opportunities in the country. State Minister for Foreign Affairs, M Shahriar Alam held a meeting with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of UAE, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash in the margins of ongoing 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday and discussed the issue. The UAE Minister sought cooperation of the government of Bangladesh in getting lands for establishing an exclusive economic zone for the UAE companies, said the foreign ministry here ...

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7.5% growth rate for current fiscal: ADB

current fiscal

MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank has projected that Bangladesh will achieve 7.5 percent economic growth in the current fiscal year. The rate is slightly below than the government’s estimate of 7.8 percent. The growth will be achieved due to the increase in private sector investment, export and remittance, the bank said in its Asian Development Outlook 2018 released on Wednesday, reports news agency. In its national budget announced in June, Bangladesh projected 7.8 percent growth for fiscal 2018-19. GDP growth accelerated 7.86 percent in the past fiscal year, surpassing the estimate of 7.65 percent, according to the state-owned ...

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Malaysia reopens labour market for Bangladeshis

Malaysia

MNA Business Desk: All the licensed recruiting agencies of the country from now on can send workers to Malaysia under the G2G Plus system. The decision was taken at a meeting of expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam with Malaysian human resources minister M Kulasegaran in Putrajaya on Tuesday. Nurul Islam led a five-member Bangladesh side to the meeting, said a handout of the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry. As per the decision, the job market of Malaysia will remain open to the workers who are waiting to go there. Meanwhile, the joint working group of Bangladesh ...

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India plans to use BD waterway for a freight corridor

waterway

MNA Business Desk: The Indian government is working on a plan to set up a waterway freight corridor to connect the mainland with the northeastern states via Bangladesh at a cost of Indian rupees 50 billion, according to economictimes.indiatimes.com The move would substantially reduce the time taken to transport goods to the eight northeastern states of India and costs. The proposed 900-km waterway would be used to transport freight from the northern and eastern states to the northeast and would start near Haldia in West Bengal, go to the Sundarbans, merge into the Padma river in Bangladesh and then join ...

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Govt bans hilsa fishing for 22 days from Oct 7

hilsa

MNA Business Desk: The government has imposed a 22-day ban on catching, selling and transporting hilsa in a 7,000-km breeding ground to ensure the safe spawning of this popular fish during its peak breeding period. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Taskforce formed to implement the ‘Mother hilsa protection campaign 2018’ held on Sunday with Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayon Chandra Chanda in the chair, reported news agency. The objective of the restriction from October 7 to October 28 is to save mother hilsa which lays eggs during the period. There will be a ban on ...

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Netherlands to assist BD export jute products to EU market

jute products

MNA Business Desk: The Netherlands has assured support for exporting diversified jute products from Bangladesh to the European Union (EU) market, reported news agency. This was conveyed to Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal during his meeting with the Managing Director of CBI of the Netherlands Hans Obdeijn held recently in The Hague, said the embassy on Saturday. The CBI is an implementing agency of the Dutch government responsible for promotion of imports from developing countries. During the meeting with the Managing Director of CBI, the Ambassador requested for CBI’s support for jute-diversified products development and assistance for ...

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Govt to modernize three jute mills

Jute Mills

MNA Business Desk: The government has taken a project for modernization and expansion of three Jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) at a cost of Tk 1.74 billion to retain the lost glory of the golden fiber. After implementation of the project, the three mills — UMC Jute Mills in Narsingdi, Jashore Jute Industry Ltd in Noapara of Jashore and Gulfra Habib Ltd in Sitakunda of Chattogram — will create new job opportunities, reported news agency. The project has already been approved at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting. Under the project, the ...

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Ma says trade row lets down 1m US jobs vow

Alibaba

MNA Business Desk: Alibaba founder Jack Ma said his ambitious pledge to create one million jobs in the US had been foiled by the trade row between Beijing and Washington, Chinese state news reported Thursday. The billionaire owner of China’s largest online shopping portal made the headline-grabbing promise to Donald Trump last year, as Beijing courted the then-newly elected president. But Ma told official news agency Xinhua his vow had been made on the basis of continued cooperation and trade growth between the US and China, and would now be difficult to fulfill, AFP reports. “The current state of affairs ...

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BBS records country’s highest 7.86pc GDP growth

growth

MNA Business Desk: The country has posted the highest-ever gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.86 per cent in 2017-18 financial year, according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). This growth, estimated by the national body to collect statistics, has surpassing the projected growth at 7.65 per cent for the year that ended on 30 June. Accordingly, per capita income rose to US$1,751 in 2017-18 from US$1,610 in the previous fiscal, reported news agency. The final figure of economic growth was placed at the meeting of the executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held in the NEC conference ...

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Trump hits China with another $200b tariffs

tariffs

MNA Business Desk: US president Donald Trump on Monday defied warnings and escalated the trade confrontation with China, hitting the country with tariffs starting next week on another $200 billion in imports and threatening to target even more if Beijing retaliates. Trump said China had refused to change the unfair practices that hurt US businesses and workers. “For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies,” Trump said in a statement. “These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy,” ...

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Beijing to reject trade talks if Washington imposes tariffs

trade talks

MNA Business Desk: The Chinese government may decline to participate in proposed trade talks with the United States later this month if the Trump administration moves forward with additional tariffs on imported Chinese goods, reported news agency. The US had proposed the talks, but at the same time moved forward with planning additional tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese products. The report quoted one senior Chinese official saying the country would not negotiate “with a gun pointed to its head.” Other officials who advise the country’s leaders are suggesting China impose limits on the sale of parts and supplies ...

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Carbon tax can juice up BD GDP: WB

carbon tax

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh can boost its tax-GDP ratio by around 10 per cent by introducing carbon tax in the country, a recent World Bank study has said. Such type of tax can help the country reduce environmental damage while raising additional resources for development, the bank said. “Carbon taxes could be a significant revenue source for the government,” said the WB study. “Carbon taxes could rise up to 1.0 per cent of GDP, at $ 30 per kilo of CO2 equivalent. This is no small amount for a country that usually collects a little over 10 per cent of ...

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Bangladesh denied duty-free market facilities by US

denied

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has again been denied re-admittance to the US trading privilege known as the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), with Washington citing ongoing concerns over the pace of labour market reforms since the Rana Plaza tragedy. Even though the two countries renewed their economic ties during the fourth meeting of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFAdenied) in Washington, DC, on Thursday, there was no obvious change in the US stance on Bangladesh and the GSP. The US trade program is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for ...

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China plans bullet train to Kolkata via Bangladesh, Myanmar

bullet train

MNA Business Desk: Chinese Consul General in Kolkata Ma Zhanwu said Wednesday his country was mooting a bullet train service between Kunming and Kolkata, traversing through Myanmar and Bangladesh, reported news agency. With joint efforts of India and China, a high-speed rail link could be established between the two cities, Mr Zhanwu said at a conference here. “It will only take a few hours to reach Kolkata from Kunming if the rail link becomes a reality,” he asserted. The envoy also said that Myanmar and Bangladesh would benefit from the project. “We may have a cluster of industries along the ...

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