BIMSTEC foreign ministers agree on $50b project

Foreign ministers

MNA Business Desk: Foreign ministers of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations have agreed on a plan to improve connectivity among the member countries. They agreed to push forward with 167 connectivity-related projects that would cost an estimated $50 billion, reported news agency. The consensus came following a detailed study by the Asian Development Bank. The study included: transportation and cross-border facilitation, multimodal transport and logistics, infrastructure development, aviation, maritime transport, human resources development—as well as communication linkages and networking. The BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistic Study (BTILS) was updated by the ADB ...

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Talks on to set agendas for BIMSTEC Summit


MNA Business Desk: Foreign secretary level officials of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member states held a pre-summit meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal. Chaired by Nepal Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi, foreign secretaries from the member countries are holding discussion to prepare the agendas for the 4th BIMSTEC Summit slated for August 30 and 31. The meeting will also prepare a draft for Kathmandu Declaration that will be endorsed by a ministerial-level meeting slated for Wednesday, reported news agency. Besides, the meeting will discuss issues related to clustering the areas of co-operation or downsizing ...

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DSE gets fund from Chinese strategic partner ‘in a week’

foreign funds

MNA Business Desk: The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) is set to receive the fund from its Chinese strategic partner, which is a consortium of two stock exchanges, within a week against the DSE’s shares sold to the partner. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) approved the proposal made by the Chinese consortium for being a strategic partner of Bangladesh’s premier bourse on May 3 last. As per the BSEC approval, the DSE has sold its 25 per cent stake or more than 450.94 million shares to the Chinese consortium comprising Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange. Minhaz Mannan ...

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Mexico, US NAFTA talks to resume


MNA Business Desk: US and Mexican trade negotiators are close to squaring away bilateral differences on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will resume talks on Monday morning, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Sunday. Earlier, Guajardo told reporters the two sides were likely “hours” away from reaching a common position, but in the evening he said more work still needed to be done, and that talks would start again on Monday at 9 a.m. local time in Washington. “We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said. The Mexico-US discussions have focused on crafting new rules for the automotive ...

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WB’s blockchain success exceeds expectations


MNA Business Desk: The World Bank raised Aus$110 million ($80.9 million) in the first-ever blockchain bond offering following investor demand that exceeded expectations, the global lender announced. The Washington-based bank, which has embraced blockchain as a valuable tool in its economic development mission, had initially expected to garner Aus$50 million ($36.8 million) for the two-year bond, with a possible doubling of that size depending on investor interest, reported news agency. “I am delighted that this pioneer bond transaction using the distributed ledger technology, bond-i, was extremely well received by investors,” World Bank Treasurer Arunma Oteh said in a statement. “We ...

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BD 3rd largest LDC on exporting commercial services


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh is the third largest exporter of the commercial services among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), reported news agency. The country exported commercial services worth $ 2.26 billion in the past year. Word Trade Statistical Review-2018, released by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last month, unveiled the scenario. The country’s share in world total export stood at 0.04 per cent in the past year while the ratio stood at 6.60 per cent for the LDCs total export of commercial services. Commercial services are total services minus ‘government goods and services, not included elsewhere.’ The major components of ...

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CPD to arrange regional seminar on South Asian SDGs


MNA Business Desk: The board of trustees of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) advised its management to concentrate on issues of current public concerns through research and dialogue activities, the leading private think-tank said in a statement on Monday. The CPD took the decision at its 51st meeting of the board of trustees, presided over by CPD Chairman Rehman Sobhan, at Brac Centre Inn in Dhaka on Sunday. The board took note of the CPD’s ongoing research on the themes of restructuring in the readymade garment sector, decentralisation, multilevel governance and corruption, and governance challenges in implementing sustainable development ...

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Greece exits final bailout programme successfully


MNA Business Desk: Greece has successfully exited its final, three-year bailout programme, agreed in August 2015 to help it cope with the continued fallout from a debt crisis, the euro zone’s ESM rescue fund said on Monday. “Today we can safely conclude the ESM programme with no more follow-up rescue programmes as, for the first time since early 2010, Greece can stand on its own feet,” Mario Centeno, the chairman of the ESM’s board of governors, said in a statement. “This was possible thanks to the extraordinary effort of the Greek people, the good cooperation with the current Greek government ...

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Mexico hopes to resolve NAFTA talks


MNA Business Desk: Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said US and Mexican negotiators are making progress and could resolve remaining issues to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement by next week. Once the two nations iron out the pending differences, Canada could then rejoin the discussions, he told reporters following a meeting with US trade officials. “Hopefully we will be able to close up no later than the middle of the week the remaining issues and probably there will be space to start the trilateral,” he said, reported news agency. Guajardo has been leading a delegation to Washington for ...

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Local cattle in surplus as demand ticks up


MNA Business Desk: Sacrificial animals are in surplus this Eid mainly thanks to commercial and marginal farmers, officials said. This year a total of 11.58 million cattle are available against the total demand for 11 million for sacrifice, said the Department of Livestock Services (DLS). A total of 2,910,640 cows and buffaloes, 1,826,419 sheep and goats, and 31,923 others like camel and Arabian dumba will be sacrificed during this Eid, reported news agency. The animals have been reared under the government’s cow-fattening programme at 442,991 farms, according to the official statistics. On the other hand, 1,546,360 more aged non-productive cows ...

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Turkey doubles tariffs on some US imports


MNA Business Desk: Turkey has doubled tariffs on some US imports, such as passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco, in what its vice president said was a response to deliberate US attacks on the Turkish economy, reported news agency. The move comes amid increased tension between the two NATO allies over Ankara’s imprisonment of a pastor and other diplomatic issues. Last Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey, reports Reuters. A decree published in Turkey’s official gazette and signed by President Tayyip Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to ...

Read More » launched ‘BiraatHaat’ campaign


MNA Business Desk: The largest marketplace in Bangladesh, and electronics manufacturing company Minister Hi-Tech Park Ltd jointly launched “Bikroy #BiraatHaat” to sell livestock ahead of Eid-ul-Adha. The campaign powered by Minister was announced at a press conference held at the Daily Star Center and will be live till the night before Eid, projected to be celebrated on August 22. Under this campaign will have a vast range of exclusive livestock from their specialized suppliers and get them delivered to their homes. Customers can also choose to visit the place where their desired Qurbani animal is being kept and ...

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WB to provide $520m to improve secondary education


MNA Business Desk: The World Bank (WB) will provide $520 million for a programme to improve the secondary education system and student performance in Bangladesh. Out of the amount, the Washington-based lending agency will provide $510 million in loan while the rest $10 million as grants, said an official at the Economic Relations Division (ERD). The WB-funded ‘Transforming Secondary Education for Results’ (TSER) programme will benefit 13 million students from grade 6 to 12, reported news agency. The programme will enhance quality of teaching and learning as well as improve access and retention of students, especially girls and children from ...

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Garment workers to get Eid allowance by August 16


MNA Business Desk: Garment workers will receive festival allowances by August 16 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, reported news agency. The decision came at the 37th meeting of the crisis management core committee headed by state minister for labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu held at his secretariat office in Dhaka city. Apparel makers have also been asked to make partial payment of wages for this month based on the talks with the workers before Eid, according to a meeting source. Representatives from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, trade unions and other law enforcing agencies, ...

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Saudi Arabia freezes new trade with Canada

new trade

MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia will suspend new trade and investment with Canada after that country’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, it said in a statement released to the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday. It also gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, the statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said, adding it retained “its rights to take further action.” The Saudi ministry had been briefed that the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy urged the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil rights ...

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Floating LNG terminal to start operations


MNA Business Desk: A vessel that arrived in Bangladesh in April to offload its maiden cargo of liquefied natural gas and moor permanently as an import terminal should begin operations “within a week” after bad weather hampered its start-up, an official said. The floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will allow Bangladesh to import LNG for the first time as its domestic gas production falls and will boost several power projects in a nation where 30 per cent go without electricity. Since its arrival at Moheshkhali, near Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh, bad weather has hampered the FSRU’s efforts to ...

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BFIU finds evidence of Tk 40bn capital flight

Community Bank

MNA Business Desk: A group of businesses is reported to have been involved in capital flight amounting to Tk 40 billion in disguise of imports and exports, reported news agency. Bangladesh Financial Intelligent Unit (BFIU) has discovered the evidence of such an involvement. The BFIU has also sent this information to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and other law-enforcement agencies requesting them to further investigate the cases before moving towards prosecution. BFIU head and Bangladesh Bank (BB) deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan disclosed this on Tuesday while responding to the reporters at the monetary policy unveiling programme. ...

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ADB to provide $357m to develop power transmission lines


MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved an assistance package totalling more than $357 million for a project to develop two power lines in support of Bangladesh’s national target of electricity for all by 2021. The investments comprise a $350 million ADB loan, a $7 million grant from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM) to partially finance new high-technology energy efficient conductors, and a $500,000 grant from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund (EAKPF) to promote socially inclusive growth with gender equality said an ADB press release on ...

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G20 agri ministers pledge WTO reform


MNA Business Desk: Agriculture ministers from the G20 countries criticized protectionism in a joint statement on Saturday, and vowed to reform World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but did not detail what steps they would take to improve the food trade system. In the statement, they said they were “concerned about the increasing use of protectionist non-tariff trade measures, inconsistently with WTO rules.” The ministers from countries including the United States and China, in Buenos Aires for the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, said in the statement they had affirmed their commitment not to adopt “unnecessary obstacles” to trade, and affirmed ...

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US-EU negotiate to skip trade clash


MNA Business Desk: The United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that US has agreed to work towards lowering trade barriers with the European Union. Trump made this comment after a meeting with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. The two would work for zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto goods, he said. They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater US soy bean exports to the EU, reported news agency. The agreements come amid heightened tensions between the US and EU. The two leaders defused what had threatened to become a ...

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BRICS leaders meet as US trade war looms


MNA Business Desk: Leaders of the BRICS emerging economies-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-will gather in Johannesburg on Wednesday for a three-day meeting focused on the threat of a US-led global trade war. US president Donald Trump’s hardening stance has compounded fears of an all-out trade war after he slapped levies on goods from China worth tens of billions of dollars and imposed tariffs on other international imports. China’s president Xi Jinping, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian president Michel Temer will attend the annual summit, along with several African leaders invited as guests. ...

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Europeans press for digital tax at G20 meeting


MNA Business Desk: European finance leaders called for progress on global rules to tax the digital economy at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Argentina on Sunday, putting them at odds with US counterparts. The final communique reaffirmed a commitment to address the impacts of the shift to a digital economy on the international tax system by 2020, without giving more details. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, proposed rules earlier this year to make digital companies pay more tax, with US tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Amazon set ...

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1.16cr sacrificial animals for Eid-ul-Adha


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has around 1.16 crore sacrificial animals, including cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep, for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, according to Fisheries and Livestock Ministry. Of them, there are 44.57 lakh cows and buffaloes, while goats and sheep are 71 lakh. In a statement, Senior Information Officer of the ministry Md Shah Alam made the disclosure on Sunday. The government has set Aug 21 to Aug 23 for the Eid holidays, subject to the sighting of the moon. If the moon sighting for the month of Zulhijja is made on Aug 12, Eid-ul-Adha will fall on Aug 22.

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S Korea cuts economic growth outlook

economic growth

MNA Business Desk: South Korea cut its economic growth to 2.9 per cent forecast from 3.0 per cent for the current year, citing a feeble labour market recovery and global trade tensions. In its bi-annual economic policy report, the nation’s finance ministry projected growth of 2.9 per cent, in line with the Bank of Korea’s projections and down from a 3.0 per cent estimate in December. The South Korean policymakers are trying to drive a sustained return to growth rates that match the country’s potential after a 3.1 per cent expansion last year, the fastest in three years. The government ...

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Gold in BB vault adulterated


MNA Business Desk: Gold weighing almost 1000 kilograms kept in Bangladesh Bank’s vault has been adulterated, reveals an investigation by the customs intelligence. The 22-carat gold has turned into 18-carat gold as other metals were mixed with it after the central bank received gold discs and rings over a period of time, investigators believe. The customs intelligence and investigation directorate of the National Board of Revenue dug out serious discrepancies in gold management, as the investigators examined 963 kg of gold out of huge quantity kept at the central bank’s vault, on the basis of random sampling. This is another ...

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Chinese company to invest $2.3b in steel plant


MNA Business Desk: Chinese giant Kunming Iron and Steel Holding Company (KISC) is all set to invest US$ 2.3 billion in a steel manufacturing project in Mirersarai, reported news agency. A delegation of the KISC led by its chairman Zhao Yongping is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow (Monday). The delegation will hold final negotiations with senior officials of the government and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), people familiar with the development told the FE on Saturday. This will be the largest investment in manufacturing sector in the country. KISC will make the investment through its subsidiary company Chinese Yunnan ...

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Shahjalal Islami Bank holds 17th AGM

Shahjalal Islami

MNA Business Desk: The 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited was held on Sunday at RAOWA Convention Centre in Dhaka, said a press release. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank Mr. Akkas Uddin Mollah presided over the meeting. The meeting approved 10 per cent stock dividend for the shareholders for the year of 2017 and the Directors Reported and audited Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account for the year ended on 31 December 2017. Chairman of the Bank Mr. Akkas Uddin Mollah, Managing Director Mr. Farman R Chowdhury and the shareholders ...

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