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BGMEA President Advocates for Closer Ties in Meeting with Indonesian Ambassador

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BGMEA

Ambassador Heru Hartanto Subolo of Indonesia to Bangladesh paid a courtesy visit to Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) today, emphasizing collaborative efforts to strengthen bilateral trade ties, particularly in the apparel and textile sector.

During the meeting, both parties engaged in discussions regarding potential collaborations and trade-related matters. The focus was on identifying new avenues for cooperation to unlock the full potential of mutual trade and investment between Bangladesh and Indonesia.

The BGMEA President, Faruque Hassan, highlighted Bangladesh’s increased emphasis on garment diversification, specifically in the production of high-value apparels utilizing man-made fibers. He expressed the possibility of importing man-made fiber and yarn from Indonesia, indicating a strategic opportunity for collaboration.

Faruque Hassan urged Ambassador Heru Hartanto Subolo to encourage Indonesian businesses to invest in Bangladesh’s man-made textile sector, citing the prospect of a mutually beneficial partnership. He also conveyed the industry’s interest in expanding apparel exports to Indonesia and sought the ambassador’s cooperation.

In addition, Faruque requested the Ambassador’s support in establishing collaboration between BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) and Indonesian fashion institutes. The objective is to enhance the knowledge and skills of BUFT students in areas such as fashion design, product development, technologies, and other relevant fields. This initiative aims to foster educational and professional development in the textile and fashion sectors.

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Economy

Feb Records $2.16bn Highest Remittance Inflow in 8 Months

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remittance

Expatriate Bangladeshis contributed a record-high of US$2.16 billion in remittances during February, marking the highest figure in the past eight months.

This substantial increase of 38.46% compared to the same month last year, as reported by Bangladesh Bank, comes as a significant boost to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Notably, June 2023 had witnessed a slightly higher remittance inflow at $2.19 billion.

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Economy

Foreign Minister to Address OIC Meeting on Israeli Aggression

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Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, currently in Turkey, is scheduled to participate in an extraordinary meeting of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) Council of Foreign Ministers in Jeddah on March 5. The meeting aims to address the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. The OIC will host the meeting at its General Secretariat headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Following his participation in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey from March 1 to 3, Foreign Minister Hasan will travel to Jeddah to attend the OIC meeting. During the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Hasan emphasized the urgent need for a collective effort to end the ongoing genocide in Gaza and hold Israel accountable for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha is expected to address the opening session of the meeting. A preparatory senior officials meeting (SOM) will precede the meeting to discuss and adopt the draft agenda and work program and consider the draft resolution before submitting it to the Council of Foreign Ministers the following day.

In November of the previous year, Saudi Arabia hosted an extraordinary joint Arab and Islamic Summit in Riyadh, jointly organized by the OIC and the League of Arab States. The conference adopted several decisions, including assigning a committee of Foreign Ministers to tour world capitals and international organizations to halt Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

As part of its ongoing efforts to stop Israeli aggression, the OIC held an open-ended executive committee extraordinary meeting at the foreign minister level in October of the previous year.

In an interview with TRT World, Minister Hasan highlighted the lack of sufficient global action to halt the violence and atrocities in Gaza. He emphasized that the situation in Gaza constitutes crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

Representing Bangladesh at the Forum in Turkey, Hasan underscored the potential of the global community to play a pivotal role in addressing these atrocities. The Antalya Diplomacy Forum, initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, concluded on March 3, convening heads of state, government officials, diplomats, business leaders, academics, and representatives from various sectors to discuss “Advancing Diplomacy in Times of Turmoil,” the theme for this year.

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Economy

BERC Announces Slight Increase in LPG Rates

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LPG

In a recent update from the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been raised by Tk0.66, reaching a new rate of Tk123.52 per kg, up from the previous Tk122.86. This adjustment, effective from 6 pm on Sunday, signals a slight uptick in household and commercial expenses.

The BERC, during a press briefing on March 3, provided details on the price adjustment, stating that the cost for a standard 12 kg LPG cylinder will now be Tk1,482, inclusive of VAT, marking an increase from the previous Tk1,474. This adjustment follows a rational scale across various LPG cylinder sizes, ranging from 5.5 kg to 45 kg, aiming to ensure a proportional price revision across different consumer segments.

Additionally, the price for “auto gas,” the LPG variant used in motor vehicles, has also been revised to Tk68.05 per litre, including VAT, a slight increase from Tk67.68. This adjustment reflects the broader impact of LPG price changes on transportation and related costs.

It is noteworthy that LPG prices offered by the state-owned LP Gas Company will remain unchanged. This exception is attributed to its local production and the company’s minimal market share, which is less than 5%.

The decision to adjust LPG prices is a response to the escalating costs in the international market, particularly linked to the rise in the Saudi CP (contract price), a benchmark influencing local operators importing LPG primarily from the Middle East.

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