Dhaka, Moscow closing in on direct banking

Bilateral meeting opens tomorrow in Russia

M Azizur Rahman | Published: October 21, 2018 10:28:03 | Updated: October 22, 2018 12:02:04

Bangladesh and Russia are expected to reach a consensus over establishing direct banking channel and eliminating double taxation when top officials open talks tomorrow (Monday) in Moscow.

The three-day bilateral meeting is also likely to take steps to improve aviation and expand two-way trade between the two countries.

A 14-member Bangladesh delegation led by Economic Relations Division (ERD) senior secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam will be taking part in the meeting of Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation scheduled for Monday-Wednesday.

A senior ERD official said that both sides would pursue taking necessary measures to establish direct banking transaction between commercial banks of two countries avoiding US dollar.

Currently, both the countries lack direct trade arrangement and connectivity, which affects bilateral trade, business and investment between the two countries.

The two sides might agree to select Russian joint-stock commercial bank 'Sputnik' to establish relevant correspondent arrangement with the commercial banks of Bangladesh.

For smooth international trade financing as well as payment settlement, Bangladesh would require appointing or nominating a local commercial bank to work as a correspondent bank with the Russian nominated bank Sputnik.

Both the parties might agree to avoid double taxation in trade for smooth bilateral and economic development, the official added.

During the meeting Dhaka would request Moscow to allow duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) access of major exportable Bangladeshi products, including garment items.

Currently, some less-exportable Bangladeshi items enjoy such facilities in the Russian market.

Both countries would also discuss on the issues of further bilateral cooperation in nuclear power, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, information and communication technology (ICT), etc.

Of the delegation, 12 are from the government, which include representatives from commerce, ICT, and science and technology ministries, ERD and Bangladesh Bank.

Two from the private sector -managing director of RMM Group Aniruddha Kumar Roy and director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and industry Habib Ullah Dawn - will also be taking part in the bilateral meet.

According to Bangladesh Bank statistics, the current bilateral trade is in favour of Russia as Bangladesh imported goods worth around US$ 628.62 million from Russia against its exports of $485.22 million during fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.


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