Govt body to simplify export procedures


MNA Business Desk: The government has formed an inter-ministerial body to lower the number of documents required for exports as part of easing doing business in line with the standards set by the World Bank, an official said. Additional secretary of the ministry of commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh is heading the 10-member body peopled by representatives from the Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue, Export Promotion Bureau, Office of the Chief Controller of Import and Export, and other relevant parties. The move comes a day after Bangladesh ranked 176th among 190 nations in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ...

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BD ranked 176th in Doing Business report


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has shown the sign of slight improvement as the World Bank’s Doing Business report put it on 176th position among 190 countries. Bangladesh was ranked at 177 among 190 countries in the last year’s index. In a first for South Asia, two of the region’s economies earned coveted spots in the global top improvers, according to Washington-based global lending agency. In the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots respectively for a second consecutive year, followed ...

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BB’s new guidelines for credit risk management


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank has issued a set of newly modified guidelines for credit risk management for the country’s scheduled banks, reported news agency. In a circular issued, the Banking Regulations and Policy Department (BRPD) of the central bank said the “Guidelines on Internal Credit Risk Rating System for Banks” were adopted to make the risk management system more effective and time-befitting. The circular said once the new model, based on the guidelines, is followed properly, proper persons and organisation will get loans easily and it will also play an assistive role in reducing the volume of the default ...

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Community Bank gets BB nod

Community Bank

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank (BB) board of directors gave its final approval to the proposed Community Bank Limited on Monday, reported news agency. But it asked the officials concerned to place again three other proposals to launch new banks with required documents for further consideration. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the central bank’s board of directors, held at its headquarters in Dhaka, with BB Governor Fazle Kabir in the chair. On August 28, the central bank board gave clearance for issuing licence to proposed Community Bank Limited, owned by Bangladesh Police Welfare Trust, after completing all ...

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Bangladesh inks $300m with WB

improve livestock

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh on Sunday signed a $300 million financing agreement with the World Bank to modernise the cash transfer of major social protection programs. This will bring transparency and efficiency in the disbursement process and help nearly 6.5 million poorest and vulnerable people, including the elderly, widows, and people with disabilities, get the benefit easily, reported news agency. The social protection programs of Department of Social Services (DSS) are: the Old Age Allowance; Allowances for the Widow, Deserted and Destitute Women; Allowances for the Financially Insolvent Disabled; and Stipends for Disabled Students. Additional Secretary of Economic Relations Division ...

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BB warns nine banks on rigged dollar sale


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank warned Dutch-Bangla Bank, Dhaka Bank, Trust Bank, BASIC Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, City Bank, Prime Bank, NCC Bank and Exim Bank on rigged dollar sale. The central bank said those banks have reported less than what they have charged importers for dollars. Regulators now seek explanations on why they would not be penalized for giving false information by hiding the actual data. The banks face a three-day deadline to respond to the notice issued on Sunday. If a bank fails to respond properly, it will be fined under the existing law. “The banks have taken ...

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ADB to provide $110m loan for urban health


MNA Business Desk: The government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed agreements for $110 million in additional loan for a project that is improving access to urban primary healthcare services, reported news agency. Economic Relations Division (ERD) senior secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB country director Manmohan Parkash signed the deals on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, at a ceremony in the city. “This assistance will support the government to provide access to quality health services, especially for poor households in urban areas,” said ADB country director Manmohan Parkash. Parkash said the new financing will focus ...

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Saudi signs $50bn deals despite boycott


MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia signed deals worth $50 billion on Tuesday, showing it can still attract investment at a conference boycotted by Western politicians and global business chiefs after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived at the investment conference late in the day after attending a meeting at which King Salman received members of Khashoggi’s family, including his son Salah. Earlier, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih assured the investment conference that the world’s top crude exporter was passing through a “crisis of a sort” but would power ahead with economic reforms. The chief executive ...

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Ecnec approves 21 projects involving Tk 19,779cr


MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved 21 projects involving an overall cost of some Tk 19,779 crore. The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reported news agency. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “A total of 21 projects were approved today involving an overall cost of Tk 19,778.73 crore.” Of the total estimated cost, Tk 17,316.93 crore will come from the national exchequer, while Tk 2,227.87 crore as ...

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Saudi kicks off investment summit


MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia hosts an investment event Tuesday despite pulling out of several country’s officials from attending the conference over death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But Turkey’s threat to reveal the “naked truth” over critic Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is hanging over the gathering, reported news agency. The three-day Future Investment Initiative (FII) was meant to project the historically insular petro-state as a lucrative business destination as it seeks to diversify and set the stage for new ventures and multi-billion dollar contracts. But the summit, nicknamed “Davos in the desert”, has been overshadowed by growing global outrage over the ...

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US to help Ctg port bolster nuclear security


MNA Business Desk: A US team is due in the city next month to discuss with officials the issue of prohibiting illicit shipment of nuclear and other radioactive materials through the Chittagong port, reported news agency. Under the “Megaports Initiative,” the National Nuclear Security Administration of the US government has installed 12 Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) in Chittagong port, which operates to deter, detect, and stem illegal transportation of radioactive substances. The team was scheduled to visit Dhaka in August last but the trip was deferred until mid-November. The governments of Bangladesh and the United States signed a memorandum of ...

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EU to sign trade deal with Singapore

trade deal

MNA Business Desk: The European Union (EU) was set to sign a trade deal with Singapore after talks with Asian leaders keen to push back against US protectionism, but efforts to encourage China to drop state subsidies ran into resistance from Beijing. The biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) brings together leaders representing 65 percent of global economic output — from the EU, Switzerland, Norway and 21 Asian countries, including Russia and China. The EU hoped to use the gathering to show the world it can move beyond Britain’s departure from the bloc. China requested the changes at a negotiation of senior ...

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China witnesses weakest economic growth since 2009

economic growth

MNA Business Desk: China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis in the third quarter, with regulators pledging further policy support as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite. Chinese authorities are trying to navigate through numerous challenges, as the trade war fears have sparked a blistering selloff in domestic stock markets and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar, heightening worries about the growth outlook. The economy grew 6.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, ...

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US again most competitive economy: WEF


MNA Business Desk: The US economy sits atop of the World Economic Forum’s annual global competitiveness survey for the first time since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, benefiting from a new ranking methodology this year, reported news agency. In its closely-watched annual Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF said the US is the country closest to the “frontier of competitiveness,” an indicator that ranks competitive productivity using a scale from zero to 100. The US beat off Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, the other top four markets, with a score of 85.6 out of 100, the report said, due to its “vibrant” ...

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5-day national furniture fair begins

national furniture

MNA Business Desk: A five-day national furniture exhibition began in Dhaka on Tuesday to showcase the variety and excellence of local furniture and home furnishing products, and attract buyers from home and abroad, reported news agency. Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose inaugurated the 15th edition of the national fair as the chief guest at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka, said a press release. Speaking at the event, the commerce secretary said that the Bangladeshi furniture industry is showing signs of prosperity with the rise in demand for interior and home-furniture products. A total of 182 stalls from 47 ...

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BD, KSA to sign MoUs on defence cooperation

defence cooperation

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to the country, reported news agency. The prime minister is scheduled to leave for KSA today on a four-day visit. During the visit, she will have a bilateral meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud tomorrow (Wednesday). “The prime minister will also open the new chancery building in Riyadh on Wednesday, and on the same night she will fly to Medina. From there she will go to Mecca to perform umrah,” Foreign ...

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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


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

improve livestock

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


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%


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


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


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


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


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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