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G-to-G pact for fishery exports benefits both Bangladesh and Myanmar

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A surge in global fuel price affected fishery exports, the offshore fishing sector and the freight forwarding industry. At present, the number of ships to Bangladesh declines due to fuel price spikes and extreme weather conditions. Photo : Kanu

Fostering a government-to-government pact for Myanmar’s fishery exports to Bangladesh will benefit both countries in the long term instead of brokers as intermediaries in cross-border trade.
Myanmar earlier sent fishery products such as rohu and groceries to Bangladesh with ten ships per month. A surge in global fuel price affected fishery exports, the offshore fishing sector and the freight forwarding industry. At present, the number of ships to Bangladesh declines due to fuel price spikes and extreme weather conditions. Additionally, the brokers control the exports in border trade with Bangladesh while the import volume is extremely low. At present, all the foreign currency earned by locals has to be exchanged for local currency at the CBM’s reference rate of K1,850 at the authorized dealers in the country within one working day. As a result, the fisheries exports dropped.
Goods are legitimately exported through Rakhine State’s border posts with tax payment. On Bangladesh border trade, the brokers run the trade to deliver the goods to markets. There is a bilateral trade flow and cross-border transactions in the border posts with Myanmar’s neighbouring countries except for Bangladesh. As import was barely seen at the border posts between Myanmar and Bangladesh, brokers tended to manipulate the currency. This posed transaction difficulties for the traders and fish farmers. Nevertheless, there is no chance for the brokers to handle currency for now owing to currency policy changes. That is why border trade flow slightly decreased.
Bangladesh is ready to purchase Myanmar’s live cattle, timber and other goods beyond fishery products and other dry goods. As trade will be carried out with ships of above 4,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage), the G-to-G pact will generate revenue for both countries, strengthen cross-border trade and improve seaborne trade.
Last June, Rakhine State government officials met the Consulate of Bangladesh in Sittway city regarding a direct export gateway for Myanmar’s fishery products and other goods instead of brokers as intermediaries and the G-to-G agreement to directly export the goods to Bangladesh’s districts. The further discussion between the two counterparts is slated to take place after 20 July. – Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM

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