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BD seeks duty-free mkt access to Russia

Moscow seeks Dhaka's support to host World Expo as France pulls out

FE Report | January 22, 2018 00:00:00

Bangladesh has sought duty and quota free access for its many exportable products to Russia, including ready-made garments (RMG), the facility which it enjoys in European Union (EU) markets.

"Currently, Bangladesh receives trade benefits in the form of duty-free and quota-free market access for many of its exportable products from many countries. But, we do not get duty and quota free market facility from Russia. We requested the Russian federation to provide the quota-free access like European Union of Bangladeshi products to its market, aiming to increase trade and business between the two countries," Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said after a meeting with a Russian delegation that called on him at his Secretariat office on Sunday.

The delegation, representing Russia, is now visiting Dhaka to seek Bangladesh's support to host the World Expo 2025 in Russia. Levin Sergey Lvovich, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and member of the organising committee of EXPO-2025, is leading the delegation.

Tofail said during the meeting he has requested Russia to provide duty and quota free market access facility for Bangladeshi products to its markets.

"Russia is a good friend of Bangladesh. The country gave duty free facility for 71 Bangladeshi items except ready-made garments (RMG). We sought duty free access for RMG," he told reporters.

Replying to a question, the commerce minister said that the issue of banking and letter of credit (L/C) also came up for discussion during the meeting.

"Bangladesh and Russia are working to resolve the banking/LC issue. A fruitful solution (about the issue) will be made shortly," he said.

Bangladesh inked a deal with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to expand trade and commerce and tap export potential in East European markets. In this connection, both the countries will meet on their different issues, Tofail Ahmed added.

During the meeting, Levin Sergey Lvovich sought support from Bangladesh for hosting the World Expo-2025, an exhibition, in Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation.

Bangladesh has ample marketing prospects of its commodities in Russia and other member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly Soviet Union).

Bangladesh exported goods worth over US $464 million to Russia and its import from the country was US $437 million in the fiscal year 2016-2017.

Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Shubhashish Bose and other high officials of the ministry were present during the media briefing.

Meanwhile, France has withdrawn its bid for holding the World Expo 2025, the application for holding of which was filed by Azerbaijan as well, Deutsche Welle reported quoting the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

Financial circumstances were the main reason for the bid withdrawal, reads the letter of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to the organising committee of the exhibition.

After France's refusal to hold the World Expo 2025, three countries - Azerbaijan, Russia and Japan claim the right to hold the exhibition.

Some 170 member states of BIE (Bureau International des Exposition) will elect the host country at its 164th General Assembly in November 2018.

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