Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the government would build a new “knitwear village” in Narayanganj over a thousand acres of land to bring new boost to this sector and facilitate relocation of factories from overcrowded city centres.
The minister however did not say the time line as to when the construction of the new industrial park will begin while work on a similar project for woven sector is underway.
Tofail was speaking at a press briefing on the outcomes of last week’s Dhaka Apparel Summit arranged by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in the city.
He said the government is already building a garment village at Bausia in the Munshigonj district over 482 acres of land. BGMEA and a Chinese firm are jointly working to implement the project.
The minister said the government will lend all support to the industry to achieve the
new transition toi a new height and this will enable the industry to achieve the target of $50 billion export earnings from garment by 2021.
He said the foreign delegates who came to attend the summit have praised the country’s economic achievements over the years as miraculous and especially the turn around that the garment sector achieved after the Rana Plaza disaster was noticeable.
BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said: “With the responses from foreign delegates at the summit, the industry leaders are more optimistic now about meeting the export target by the stipulated time.”
Islam said around 6,000 people took part in the summit and around 15,000 visited
the expo on fire fighting equipment, which was held in the sidelines of the Dhaka Apparel summit.
Local and foreign firms showcased fire fighting equipment at 92 stalls. Eighty-five speakers from Bangladesh, the European Union, the USA and other countries shared their views at nine business sessions at the summit, he said.
Nearly 25 of the speakers were top officials of different western retailers and brands, Islam added.
As the cost of petroleum products is steadily on decline in international market, Bangladesh is going to benefit from it in many ways. In the first place, the balance of payment on fuel import bills is drastically improving to contribute to a fall in domestic subsidy.
Consequently, the government losses is slowly turning into profiteering showing a reverse trend after a decade. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) sources said the government is poised to make profits for the first time after at least 13 years from sale of fuel oil during this fiscal 2014-15 due to globally declining prices.
They said the government will also be able to save several thousand crores of taka this year from spending annually on subsidies.
BPC is already making some profits and if the fuel oil price remains at this level, it will surely continue to make profits, its chairman Yunususr Rahman is reported to have told the media last week.
He said import costs of diesel have already dropped more than 30 percent to $80 per barrel from $120 in June last. The price of furnace oil also came down significantly to $413 per tonne from $602 in July. Meanwhile, crude oil prices have plummeted to a five-year low to $67 per barrel.
BPC website data showed it is incurring loses from way back to fiscal 2001-02 and it increased by every year. In 2013-14 its losses came down to Tk 2,477 crore for the firt time from Tk 5,368 crore in the previous year. In 2011-12 BPC’s loses were at the highest at Tk 10,552 crore which is now reversing with a decline in global oil prices.
The country imported 53.51 lakh tonnes of petroleum products worth Tk 36,587 crore in fiscal 2013-14 and 65 percent of the import bills went to diesel import.
It spent Tk 7,350 crore on petroleum subsidies in 2013-14, down from Tk 13,558 crore in the previous year as per figures of the ministry of finance.
Despite a rise in domestic petroleum prices by up to 11.47 percent in January last year the government had to spend Tk 7 as subsidy on per litre of diesel before October this year. Now it is making Tk 4-Tk 5 profit per litre, BPC senior officials are quoted to have said.
If the prices in the global markets continue to remain at the present level, there may be a price cut at domestic level. There is a possibility said a BPC official requesting not to be named. Diesel and kerosene now sell at Tk 68 per litre while petrol and octane at Tk 96 a litre and Tk 99 respectively.
Myanmar has undertaken the move to reform its age old state-owned national carrier into a modern fleet to operate in international routes breaking the domestic market horizon.
As a first step, the company has changed its name from Myanmar Airways controlled by the state for the last 66 years to Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) under a new law enacted to allow modernization of the fleet, company managing director Than Tun told the media, reports AFP.
The airline was established in 1948 and currently operates mostly domestic services using Fokker F28 jets and ATR turboprops. The rebranding is designed to implement the makeover of the carrier as it eyes on international routes.
In February the airlines announced the leasing of 10 Boeing 737s aircraft in a deal worth nearly $1 billion. Delivery of the planes is scheduled to begin in June 2015. The airline has also signed a deal in July for up to a dozen new-generation ATR propeller-driven planes at the Farnborough air-show.
The carrier’s sole international destination currently is Gaya in India which is an important site for Buddhist pilgrims.Myanmar has witnessed a rapid rise in both domestic and international passenger growth since the decades of junta rule ended in 2011 opening the country to an influx of tourists.
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) arranged the launching of ‘Commercial Paper’ of Tk 450 million loan under bank guarantee for Pran Agro Ltd., a concern of PRAN-RFL Group, with the closing ceremony held at a city hotel recently.
Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor S K Sur Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PRAN-RFL Group Major General Amjad Khan Chowdhury (Retd.)was the chief guest on the occasion. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PRAN-RFL Group Major General Amjad Khan Chowdhury (Retd.) and chairman of Mutual Bank Ltd Rashed A. Chowdhury were present as the special guests.
MTB Managing Director and CEO, Anis A. Khan, MTB Deputy Managing Director and Chief Business Officer, Syed Rafiqul Haq, Managing Director and CEO of Eastern Bank Ltd, Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director, Dhaka Bank Ltd. Niaz Habib, Managing Director, Dhaka Bank Ltd., R. Q. M. Forkan, Deputy Managing Director of NRB Global Bank Ltd. were among others present for both subscribers and portfolio managers on the occasion.
MTB Chairman appreciated the idea of commercial paper as a lower-cost alternative to bank loans and hoped it may broaden the investment opportunities in the market by providing additional financial instrument to investors.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited donated two thousand pieces of blankets to Bangladesh Red Crescent Society for distribution among the cold affected people who live in the streets.
Vice Charman of the Bank Engr. Mustafa Anwar handed over the blankets to Chairman of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Prof. Dr. MS Akbar, MP on December 15.
Executive Vice President and Head of Development Wing Abdus Sadeque Bhuiyan, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility Affairs Division of the Bank AHM Latif Uddin Chowdhury, BMM Mozaharul Haque NDC, board member Sheikh Shafiqul Azam and other senior officials from both sides were present on the occasion.
Islami Bank has decided to distribute 2 lac 25 thousand warm clothes among the cold-hit people across the country this year through the Head Office, Zonal Offices and Branches. Every year the Bank donates winter clothes to cold affected people as part of its CSR activities, said a press release.