The apex trade-body, FBCCI, has sought opinions from its member associations regarding the possible impact of Coronavirus outbreak on the country's trade and economy, officials said.
"We have asked all our members to submit their assessment by February 12 to help the government take necessary measures to cope with any untoward situation," an official of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said.
"We have sought their opinions regarding possible impact of the outbreak on supply and price of essential items, export-import, basic and medium indusial raw materials, finished products, indusial production and services sector etc," he added.
The FBCCI has taken the initiative in line with a recent directive of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), provided in a meeting with the apex trade-body on February 6.
Subsequently, the ministry at an emergency meeting on February 7 discussed the possible impact of Coronavirus outbreak in China on Bangladesh economy, especially on export-import.
The MoC has also asked various market monitoring agencies to intensify their vigilance, so that none can raise commodity prices in the name of short supply, citing China's Coronavirus epidemic.
In the meeting the ministry gave necessary instructions in this regard to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), and its own market monitoring teams.
The meeting, chaired by Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin, asked the officials to remain alert, so that no trader can take advantage of the situation and make windfall profit.
A senior official, who attended the meeting, told the FE that there are examples that some unscrupulous businesses, on various occasions, took advantage of supply chain disruption, and raised commodity prices in the country.
These businessmen may take the chance again, as Coronavirus is gradually spreading to more countries, posing threat to disrupt local commodity supply chain, he added.
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