Trump makes veiled WTO threat after EU warning on car tariffs


MNA Sports Desk: US President Donald Trump warned the World Trade Organization on Monday that “we’ll be doing something” if the United States is not treated properly, just hours after the European Union said that US automotive tariffs would hurt its own vehicle industry and prompt retaliation, reported news agency. Trump, speaking to reporters during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House, said, “The WTO has treated the United States very, very badly and I hope they change their ways.” His comments came after the Axios news website reported that Trump’s administration has drafted proposed ...

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BD to get more tariff reduction under APTA


MNA Business Desk: The tariff-cut amendment of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) became effective Sunday, with China’s Ministry of Commerce saying it would facilitate regional economic integration in Asia, according to reports by Xinhua and Global Times. “The amendment will provide member countries new economic impetus, prompt continued trade increases, facilitate economic integration and help further materialise the Belt and Road Initiative,” the ministry said Sunday in an online statement. The six members of APTA – China, India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Laos – will slash tariffs by an average of 33 per cent on 10,312 product categories. ...

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World Bank President in Dhaka

World Bank

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim arrived here on Saturday afternoon to accompany United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to visit Rohingya camps. Kim along with the United Nations chief will assess the severity of the crisis and discuss what more can be done. The World Bank President will begin his official visit on Sunday, reported news agency. The World Bank earlier announced close to half-a-billion dollars in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management, and social protection. Reflecting ...

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Canada hits back at US on tariffs


MNA Business Desk: Canada hit back at the United States on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on American summertime essentials such as Florida orange juice, ketchup and Kentucky bourbon in its opening salvo in a trade war with president Donald Trump, reported news agency. As temperatures and tensions increase, the measures targeting Can$16.6 billion (US$12.6 billion) in US steel, aluminium and consumer goods will take effect on Sunday, when Canadians celebrate a national holiday and just days before Americans celebrate Independence Day amid a heatwave expected in both countries. The tit-for-tat duties are a response to the punishing US steel and ...

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Parliament passes Tk 4,64,573cr national budget

national budget

MNA Business Desk: Parliament on Thursday passed Tk 4,64,573crore national budget for FY 2018-19 themed as ‘Bangladesh on a Pathway to Prosperity’ with a growth target of 7.8 percent. Finance Minister AMA Muhith moved the Appropriations Bill, 2018 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 571833, 82, 92, 000 which was passed by voice vote. Opposition and independent MPs were present in the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament and they did not raise any voice against passing of the bill. Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 7 unveiled a Tk 4,64,573 crore ambitious budget for the next ...

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ADB approves $500m for 800MW power plant


MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $500 million credit for Bangladesh to develop an 800 megawatt power plant in Khulna along with associated connections to natural gas and power transmission facilities, reported news agency. In the face of rising demand for energy in the growing economy, the Rupsha power plant will be the “first of its kind in Bangladesh”, ADB Energy Specialist Aziz Yusupov said, according to a statement from the Manila-based bank. The plant will stimulate business expansion and create new job opportunities by providing additional electricity supply to about 300,000 consumers, Yusupov said. ...

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EU, China pledge to uphold global trade order

global trade

MNA Business Desk: The European Union and China pledged on Monday to uphold a rules-based global trade system, making an oblique criticism of growing protectionism in Washington despite their own disagreements, reported news agency. The two sides held high-level economic meetings in Beijing as both face rising trade tensions with the United States. Brussels and Beijing recently announced new tariffs on US goods in retaliation for moves by the Trump administration. “Both sides agreed to resolutely oppose unilateralism and protectionism and prevent such practices from impacting the world economy and even dragging the world economy into recession,” said Chinese Vice ...

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Bangladesh to import 50,000t wheat


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to import 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat, officials said on Sunday, as it looks to secure supplies. The deadline for offers is 3 July, and the wheat is to be shipped within 40 days of signing the deal, said the officials at the directorate general of food, the country’s state grains purchasing agency. Bangladesh emerged as a major buyer of rice and wheat in 2017 after floods destroyed its crops, sending staple rice prices to record highs that prompted many to switch to flour. The South Asian country imported ...

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U.S. auto tariff move to be responded by EU


MNA Business Desk: The European Union will respond to any U.S. move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, a senior European Commission official said, the latest comments in an escalating trade row. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat. “If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react,” EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde. “We don’t ...

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Asylum seekers boost European economies: Study

boost ties

MNA Business Desk: Asylum seekers moving to Europe have raised their adopted nations’ economic output, lowered unemployment and not placed a burden on public finances, scientists said on Wednesday. An analysis of economic and migration data for the last three decades found asylum seekers added to gross domestic products and boosted net tax revenues by as much as 1 percent, said a study published in Science Advances by French economists. The findings come amid a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe, where immigration peaked in 2015 with the arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants from the Middle ...

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Trade war worries affect emerging markets


MNA Business Desk: Chinese stocks fell almost 4 per cent and alarm bells rang across global markets on Tuesday, as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalated further. The yuan also hit a five-month low overnight after US president Donald Trump’s threat to impose a 10 per cent tariff on another $200 billion of Chinese goods drew warnings from Beijing about $50 billion of retaliatory penalties on US goods. Asian stocks wilted to a four-month low and Australia’s dollar AUD=D4 and South Africa’s rand ZAR= were among a diverse group of currencies caught in the crossfire. Europe’s ...

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ADB to lend $50m for microenterprise development


MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to lend US$50 million to help Bangladesh promote microenterprise led by women, finance ministry officials said. The fund will be channelled through Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). The state-run top financier for micro-lenders will then distribute the funds among small enterprises through its partner organisations (POs). The interest rate on loans will be determined in line with the ADB’s London interbank offered rate (LIBOR)-based lending facility. A commitment charge of 0.15 per cent per annum will be levied, reported news agency. The ADB will provide a credit line to PKSF’s ...

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Net FDI drops by 4.20pc in July-April


MNA Business Desk: Net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped by 4.20 per cent in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, reported news agency. Latest statistics, released by the central bank last week, showed that the net inflow of FDI stood at $1.46 billion in July-April period of FY18, while it was $1.52 billion in the same period of FY17. The data also showed that gross inflow of FDI stood at $2.37 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, which was $2.55 billion in the same period of the past fiscal year. ...

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Trump imposes tariffs on China


MNA Business Desk: The US President Donald Trump on Friday announced fresh tariffs targeting tens of billions in Chinese imports, reported news agency. The new tariff will sparking immediate retaliation from Beijing and bringing the world’s two largest economies to the brink of an all-out trade war feared by markets and industry. Making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property, Trump warned in a statement of “additional tariffs” if China hits back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods and services exports. At least initially, though, the new tariffs will not cover the full $50 ...

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No VAT on remittance: NBR


MNA Business Desk: The National Board of Revenue or NBR has brushed aside as rumours social media posts claiming the government has imposed Value Added Tax (VAT) on the money sent by Bangladeshi expatriates. It clarified in a media release on Wednesday that no such tax has been levied in the budget proposed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith for 2018-19 financial year.  “This is utterly false and nothing but rumour. The NBR thinks the propaganda aims at stopping the flow of remittance through legal channels and encouraging the expatriates to use Hundi,” the release says. Money sent by the expatriates ...

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WB may provide $400 million for Rohingyas


MNA Business Desk: The World Bank (WB) is likely to provide a grant of US$ 400 million for the rehabilitation of Rohingya refugees within next two years, reported news agency. The Washington-based international financial institution has backtracked from its earlier stance on providing the loan for the Rohingyas as the Government of Bangladesh raised its reservations about the credit, they said. “The WB has formally agreed to provide the grant for the Rohingyas,” said Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD). They have recently completed a mission to explore the potential of support, he told the FE. ...

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EU to act against US tariffs: Merkel


MNA Business Desk: Europe will implement counter-measures against US tariffs on steel and aluminum just like Canada, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, voicing regret about president Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw support for a G7 communiqué. Trump’s announcement on Twitter, after leaving the Group of Seven summit in Canada early, that he was backing out of the joint communiqué torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between Washington and its top allies. “The withdrawal, so to speak, via tweet is of course … sobering and a bit depressing,” Merkel said in an ...

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No VAT on online shopping: NBR

online shopping

MNA Business Desk: Claiming the VAT on online marketing a print mistake, National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Friday said no VAT will be imposed on online shopping. He made the comment at a post-budget news conference held at Osmani auditorium in Dhaka. NBR chief said five percent VAT on online shopping will not be implemented. Social media including Facebook, Google have to pay as per the income, he added. Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor Mashiur Rahman, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, State Minister of Finance ...

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Tk 4.64 trillion budget approved for FY19

national budget

MNA Business Desk: The cabinet approved the national budget of around Tk 4.64 trillion for the fiscal year 2018-19 on Thursday afternoon, reported news agency. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the special meeting of the cabinet held at the parliament complex. Finance Minister AMA Muhith placing the national budget for the 2018-19 fiscal in parliament with all the indicators pointing to another expansionary budget in keeping with the AL government’s previous budgets. The figure is an increase of 25 percent from the revised budget and more than 16 percent higher than the original budget of the outgoing fiscal year. ...

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July-May export earnings witness 6.66pc growth

export earnings

MNA Business Desk: Country’s export earnings in the first eleven months (July-May) of the current fiscal year (FY2018-19) witnessed a 6.66 percent growth fetching $3372.88 crore buoyed by the good performance of garment, jute and jute-made goods and agricultural products. The single-month export performance for May was 9 percent higher with $332.24 crore. Export earning in May of last fiscal year (FY17) was $304.76 crore, reported news agency. According to the figures of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) for the July-May period of the current fiscal, knitwear export maintained its positive trend fetching $1, 398.11 crore, which showed a 11.48 percent ...

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US trade policy ‘extremely deplorable’: Japan


MNA Business Desk: US-imposed trade tariffs on its close allies could have a “grave impact” on ties and the world trading system, the Japanese government said Monday, describing the situation as “extremely deplorable”. Washington found itself isolated at a weekend meeting of G7 finance ministers over its stinging steel and aluminium tariffs and Tokyo kept up the barrage in unusually strong language, reported news agency. “It is extremely deplorable that the situation has not improved even after Japan has explained to the US its concerns at various levels,” said government spokesman Yoshihide Suga. Close allies Tokyo and Washington have been ...

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G7 finance chiefs rebuke US for metal tariffs


MNA Business Desk: Finance leaders of the closest US allies vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs on Saturday, ending a three-day meeting with a stern rebuke of Washington and setting up a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec. In a rare show of division among the normally harmonious club of wealthy nations, the six other G7 member countries issued a statement asking US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to convey their “unanimous concern and disappointment” about the tariffs to President Donald Trump. The 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminium tariffs were imposed this ...

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Modi calls for unimpeded trade, access in Indo-Pacific


MNA Business Desk: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for equal access at sea and in the air for all Asian countries at a major defence conference on Friday, but avoided singling out China’s claims to the hotly contested South China Sea. Modi outlined his regional vision at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, attended by defence chiefs from over 40 countries, including US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The Indian leader’s visit to Southeast Asia, which he described as the centre of a new era of cooperation in a region that spanned the coast of Africa to the US West ...

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Bangladesh joins Tokyo jute fair


MNA  Business Desk: A pavilion was inaugurated on Wednesday at Interior Life-style Fair at the Big Site of Tokyo in Japan to showcase Bangladeshi jute products, reported news agency. Chairman to the parliamentary standing committee on textiles and jute Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima and Export Promotion Bureau vice chairman Bijoy Bhattachariya inaugurated the pavilion. A total of 10 jute business organisations are taking part in the fair where they are showcasing different items of jute products including jute bag, said an official release here. The Bangladeshi businessmen expressed their hope to create a Bangladesh-made jute ...

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Fresh notes to hit market June 3


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank (BB) will release new currency notes of Taka 10, 20, 50 and Taka 100 denominations in the market from June 3 ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. The new notes will be distributed from all branches of Bangladesh Bank across the country every day until June 14, said a press release. The notes will also be distributed from Jatrabari Branch of the National Bank, Abdul Ghoni Road Corporate Branch of the Janata Bank, Elephant Road Branch of Agrani Bank, Mirpur Branch of the City Bank, Kawran Bazar Branch of the South East Bank, Bashundhara City (Panthapath) Branch of ...

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Nepal, Bangladesh to discuss trade obstacles

discuss trade

MNA Business Desk: Nepal and Bangladesh will discuss trade facilitation and elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers at the fourth commerce secretary-level trade talks scheduled to begin on May 30.  Nepal plans to ask Bangladesh to address hurdles to exporting acrylic yarn to Bangladesh, quoting Nepal based Kathmandu Post, reports news agency. Harmonising sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and reviewing the list of 108 Nepali products, that have duty free access to the Bangladesh market, will also be a part of the discussion. An eleven-member Bangladeshi delegation would be arriving in Kathmandu to participate in the two-day meeting. Nepal’s Ministry ...

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Pakistan seeks economic lifeline with China loans


MNA Business Desk: Pakistan expects to obtain fresh Chinese loans worth $1-2 billion to help it avert a balance of payments crisis, Pakistani government sources said, in another sign of Islamabad’s growing reliance on Beijing for financial support. Lending to Pakistan by China and its banks is on track to hit $5 billion in the fiscal year ending in June, according to recent disclosures by officials and Pakistan finance ministry data reviewed by Reuters. The ramp up in China’s lending comes as the United States is cutting aid to Pakistan following a fracture in relations between the on-off allies. In ...

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