FE Today Logo

BD team to visit Russia to talk direct banking channel

Talha Bin Habib | September 20, 2018 00:00:00

A high-powered government delegation will visit Russia this month to discuss ways to establish direct banking channel between the two countries, officials said.

The ministry of commerce (MoC) has been working out specific agenda to be discussed during meetings between the two sides.

"A delegation of the commerce ministry officials will visit Russia and they are scheduled to meet with their Russian counterparts on September 22 and 23 in Moscow," a deputy secretary of the MoC told the FE.

At present, Bangladesh businesses have to use a third country to export goods to Russia in the absence of a direct banking channel.

They also have to conduct trade using Russian currency, ruble.

Traders said the existing export and import system with Russia is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Bangladesh has to export goods to Russia via European countries, including Germany, Turkey and India.

Bilateral trade with Russia is not increasing notably since there is no option to conduct trade with Russia using an easy convertible currency, according to the country's traders and business circle.

However, there is a scope to increase trade with Russia if the trade can be done in an easy convertible currency like US dollar, which will help boost the two-way trade significantly, they said.

They called for introducing a better system of trade (export and import) with Russia, which would be time-saving and cost-effective.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank has prepared a report with recommendations for establishing a direct banking channel, aiming to ensure a hassle-free bilateral trade.

A high official of the MoC who is expected to travel to Russia with the government delegation told the FE that they would raise the issues creating obstacles to trade with Russia.

Bangladesh and Russia has maintained an excellent relation over the years.

Bangladesh mainly exports jute and jute goods, readymade garments, leather and leather goods and tea to Russia. It imports machinery, mineral resources and wheat.

The annual trade volume between the two countries now stands at around US$ 1.0 billion and the balance of trade is in favour of Bangladesh.

[email protected]

Share if you like