Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday that the initiative has been taken to stock seven daily essentials and ensure adequate supply to keep their prices stable during the fasting month of Ramadan. The minister said this while speaking at the 5th meeting of the ‘Task Force on Review of Commodity Prices and Market Situation’ held at the conference hall of the Ministry of Commerce at the Secretariat on Wednesday. Read more: Govt to soon fix prices of 9 daily essentials He said necessary measures have been taken to ensure supply of edible oil, sugar, lentil, onion, dates, rice, and wheat as per the demand. He said despite some difficulties in LC opening due to the current global situation necessary action has been taken to disburse foreign currencies through banks for LC opening to facilitate imports of essential commodities. “The government of India has been informed not to stop the export of some essential items without prior notice. In addition, the Indian government has ensured supply of essentials as per Bangladesh's requirement,” the minister said. He reassured that there will be no shortage of the essential commodities and the prices will remain normal considering all these aspects. “Market monitoring will be intensified to keep the situation normal and there is no need to buy large quantities of these goods at once before the start of the Ramadan. The country's media can play an important role in creating public awareness in this regard,” the minister said. Read more: Cabinet asks for a realistic assessment of price situation of essentials and tasks ahead Prime Minister's Advisor on Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman attended the meeting while Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh presided over the programme. Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman Mahfuza Akhtar, Bangladesh Competition Commission Chairperson Pradeep Ranjan Chakraborty, Bangladesh Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) Chairman Brigadier General Md. Ariful Hasan, Director General of National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate AHM Shafiquzzaman, NBR’s representative Khandkar Nazmul Haque, Director (Foreign Exchange Operations) of Bangladesh Bank Abdul Haque, First Vice President of FBCCI Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, representative of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Kazi Md. Abdul Hannan, representatives of TK Group, City Group and various intelligence and security agencies were also present at the meeting.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been requested to take steps towards reducing the import duty on sugar, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Sunday. The price of sugar will come down as a request has been made to NBR to reduce import duty on the daily item, which will create an effect on the price of sugar, he said. It is expected that the reduction in import duty will also allow the importers to sell on their goods at a lower price. The minister revealed this information while talking to reporters after a meeting with the representatives of the chamber and trade bodies at the Secretariat. Read more: Industries minister says sugar shortage 'artificial,' blames traders' hoarding “The government has fixed the price of sugar in the month of November but it is now being sold at Tk 120, why? According to the documents, there is plenty of sugar available. The Directorate of National Consumers' Rights Protection (DNCRP) has started a crackdown against the illegal hoarders and slapped fines. Now punitive action such as jail will be taken, if needed,” he said. Government is working hard as the common people can get sugar at a low price, said the minister. Referring to the upcoming Ramadan, Tipu Munshi said the government is working and will keep working to keep the supply of essential commodities normal during Ramadan. The ministry will soon form a committee to strengthen monitoring and vigilance to check soaring prices of essential commodities, said the minister. Read more: Soybean oil, sugar prices go up again Bangladesh Bank will also form a crisis management committee to monitor the market and supervise the import of goods, he said. The committee will hold a meeting every three months to avoid any untoward situation.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday said his ministry will soon form a committee to strengthen monitoring and vigilance to check soaring prices of essential commodities. Bangladesh Bank will also form a crisis management committee to monitor the market and supervise the import of goods, the minister said. He was talking to reporters after a meeting with the representatives of the chamber and trade bodies at the Secretariat in Dhaka. Munshi said both committees will monitor the stock, supply and import of some basic commodities so that consumers can buy at an affordable price during upcoming Ramadan. Also read: Tipu Munshi seeks more US investment Replying to a query commerce minister said the government will not hold the LCs which quotes the real price of imported items. The commerce ministry, the central bank and National Board of Revenue (NBR) are working jointly to check money laundering through manipulation of the export income and import costs, Munshi said.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday urged the United States to invest more in Bangladesh while the country could import more from the South Asian nation. Munshi said Bangladesh has a strong trade relation with the US and there is scope to expand the bilateral bonding to a greater extent. Munshi made the remarks in a bilateral meeting with a US team led by Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director-general of the US Foreign Commercial Service, at the Pan-pacific Sonargaon Hotel. He said that American investors could benefit enormously by investing at special economic zones Bangladesh is readying. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the authorities to set up 100 special economic zones across the country to woo foreign investment. The commerce minister said Bangladesh is giving special incentives to the foreign investors. “Bangladesh gives special importance to the US investment. Safety has been ensured for the investors. Bangladesh is emphasising on the skill development in digital commerce,” he said. Read: Time to invest in Bangladesh, Tipu Munshi tells Nordic countries While the US is a major market of Bangladeshi garment products the country can be a good destination of Bangladeshi furniture and pharmaceutical products, he said. Bangladesh needs support from the US in other sectors such as agro-food processing, technology and ICT, the minister said. Arun Venkataraman said Bangladesh is a vital trade partner of the US. He appreciated Bangladesh’s development, saying that the US will continue to strengthen its relations with the country in the fields of investment, trade and technology.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said there is no alternative to increasing exports to maintain a strong foundation for the country's economy. The Government of Bangladesh has therefore set an ambitious target of hitting $80 billion in exports by 2024, and $100 billion by 2026 and is working accordingly, he disclosed. This would effectively require exports to double in just four years, given that the country's earnings in this sector breached the $50 billion mark for the first time in the recently concluded 2021-22 fiscal. Read Bangladesh’s apparel export to cross $100 bn by 2030: experts It can be instructive to note that the doubling from $25 billion to $50 billion took some 11 years - the country earned $25 billion in exports for the first time in 2010-11 fiscal. Tipu Munshi was speaking as the chief guest at a ‘Meet the Press’ program organised by the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (OCAB), held at the Akram Khan Auditorium of the National Press Club on Saturday. The commerce minister said that Bangladesh will get the currently available facilities and preferences as an LDC till 2029, i.e. for three years after graduation in 2026. Read Bangladesh’s exports worth $4.60bn in Aug, up by 36.18%: EPB data “We have to survive in trade competition with the developed countries then, so the government is working to develop the capacity of different sectors along with export diversification,” the minister said. At present, the readymade garments sector alone contributes about 82 percent of total exports. "So special initiatives have been taken to increase the exports of about 10 sectors including ICT, leather, plastic, light engineering, and jute to achieve the target," he said. “We have more potential to increase export of readymade garments as Myanmar’s garment sector almost closed and China's garment industry is relocating,” he added. Also read: Like Singapore, Bangladeshi traders can now buy goods and export directly to third countries As a result, opportunities have been created for Bangladesh with its huge reserve of 'skilled' - for the RMG sector at least - manpower and low cost of production, mainly due to the cheapest labour money can buy anywhere in the world. On the other hand, the new generation of factories in the thriving sector has given Bangladesh the highest number of environmentally-friendly 'green factories' in the world, which also keeps the country ahead in trade competition, Tipu said. “Our trade gap with China and India is highest due to import of industrial machinery and raw materials. China has granted duty-free facilities to 99 percent of its exports to reduce trade barriers. Bangladesh is working towards a SEPA agreement with India to reduce the trade gap," the minister also said. Also read: Trade deficit in FY 2021-22 is $21,528.74 million: Commerce Minister In response to a query, Tipu Munshi said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent visit to India was successful. India has agreed to provide free transit facilities by road with Bhutan and Nepal. "There are increasing opportunities for trade and commerce with India by road, sea, and air, communications is improving a lot, 7 agreements have been signed in this tour. By which both Bangladesh and India will benefit a lot.” He added. Convener of Overseas Correspondents Kadir Kallol, Member-Secretary Nazrul Islam Mithu, and UNB editor senior journalists Farid Hossain were present at the function. Read All export-oriented industries should get equal facilities: Salman F Rahman
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday hinted that the price of edible oil might be lowered. "The price of edible oil in the international market has declined. If the price of the dollar does not rise and goes lower, then it will have a positive impact on the market," Munshi said The commerce minister was speaking after a meeting held at his ministry on Tuesday regarding prices of daily necessities and market conditions. The Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) will hold a meeting soon on this matter, he added. Read:Govt to soon fix prices of 9 daily essentials "We have increased the price of edible oil several times and reduced it three times so far. You will see that in soybeans, price increased by Tk 6-7, and palm oil price decreased by Tk7." "As we import more palm oil than soybean, the overall impact will be favourable," he hoped. "The good news is that palm oil prices are decreasing and soybean prices are also on the path of decline. New prices will be fixed after assessing all prices in the meeting to be held soon," said Munshi. Earlier on Monday, the government lowered fuel oil prices by Tk5 per litre, 23 days after raising them by between 42-52 percent.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday said the government has no restrictions on importing food products from Russia and Ukraine or any other country. The minister was talking to the media after a top level government meeting on import of food grains and products held at the secretariat. He said the importing of food products was discussed at the meeting in detail, and there is no national or international issue regarding this. Also read: Time to invest in Bangladesh, Tipu Munshi tells Nordic countries The overall condition of food stock of the country was discussed along with exports today but the matter of fuel oil didn’t come up, said the minister. “There are globally 24 banks from where Bangladesh can import food with dollars if necessary,” said Tipu. Also read: Agriculture sector may follow Spain's Almeria model: Tipu Munshi Replying to a question he said,” The matter of finding lower rate of dollar is a different matter and we didn’t discuss about it.”
Ahead of this year's Eid-ul-Azha, the government has hiked the base price of raw cowhide by Tk 7. Raw cowhide will now cost Tk 47-52 per sq ft in Dhaka and Tk 40-44 outside the capital. This was announced by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi after chairing a virtual meeting at the Ministry on Tuesday. Also read: Benapole: BGB on high alert to prevent rawhide smuggling Last year, the raw cowhide price was fixed at Tk 40-45 per sq ft in the capital and Tk 33-37 outside Dhaka. Besides, the minister said, the price of goatskin has been fixed at Tk 18-20 per sq ft across the country, which was Tk 15-17 last year. However, the price of female goatskin have remained the same at Tk 12-14 per sq ft. Also read: Govt fixes rawhide prices ahead of Eid-ul-Azha The Minister emphasised on applying salt on animal hides soon after their sacrifices. “It will be good if people are made aware about applying salt in sermons after the next Jumma prayer,” he said.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has urged the WTO to impose an embargo so the exporting countries can’t abruptly stop export of food grains without prior notice to the importers. The minister placed Bangladesh’s position on the first day of the ministerial-level conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), highest policy-making forum in global trade, held at WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Tipu said, “The current situation shows a global food shortage, the food issue has become very important for human survival. It would not be right to suddenly impose an export ban on essential food items.” Also read: Reliable accreditation infrastructure crucial for strengthening export The importing countries must be alerted so they can take preparation and alternative steps, he said. The commerce minister said that to minimize risk of food security, LDC countries need to have the opportunity to stockpile food on a large scale at the government level. Bangladesh will support WTO reforms especially in the agriculture sector. Reforms must be inclusive and transparent, where the concerns of each member must be taken into account, he said. Also read: Barind region's mangoes to be marketed globally for export Speaking at a press conference on the first day of the MC-12 summit, WTO Director General Engoji Okonzo Aiwala said the Russia-Ukraine war has made the food crisis a major challenge for the world. Following the passage of the LDCs, member states have been urged to come to a consensus on other important issues, including the continuation of trade benefits and sudden ban of food grain exports. Tipu is leading the Bangladesh delegation to the 164-nation WTO meeting. Read WTO holds big meeting to tackle vaccines, food shortages
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Saturday said quality tea production is increasing by 4 to 5 percent each year in the country. Despite this increase, Bangladesh’s tea export is not increasing in line with the production as domestic consumption of tea increased with the purchasing ability of people, he said. People in the rural areas are also accustomed to tea, as a result, on an average people are taking 10 crore cups of tea every day in the country, the commerce minister said. Also read: Panchagarh all set to see record high tea production Tipu Munshi said this while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural function of 'Tea Day' at Osmani Auditorium in the capital on Saturday. The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Tea Board. Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed, FBCCI President Jasim Uddin, Bangladesh Tea Board Chairman Major General Ashraful Islam, Bangladesh Tea Association Chairman M Shah Alam and Tea Traders Association Chairman Omar Hannan, among others, spoke on the occasion. Senior secretary of commerce ministry Tapan Kanti Ghosh presided over the function. Also read: Time to invest in Bangladesh, Tipu Munshi tells Nordic countries Tipu Munshi said the production of tea increased to 96.51 million kg in 2021 which was 60 million kg in 2009. If the production would not grow, tea consumption is required to meet by importing. The minister urged the tea garden owners to work more for the welfare of 1.49 crore workers, who are working hard to develop this sector.