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Mizzima: Govt. should work for free

Government should work for free trade agreement with Burma, says FBCCI

Dhaka, May 29, 2000
Mizzima News Group

Extension of visa up to 15 days and permission for free movement of
Bangladeshis within the Arakan State of Burma should be discussed
immediately with the Burmese government, President of FBCCI urged the
government yesterday.

Speaking to BSS, Mr. Abdul Awal Mintoo, the President of the Federation
of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said that the
government should work for a fresh free trade agreement with Burma for
boosting the existing bilateral trade.

He said the government should take up the matter of opening of one more
border trade route at Miyaku near Bandarban, apart from the existing
Maungdaw and Sittwe trade points. He also said that road connections
between Sittwe-Maungdaw, Maungdaw-Ukhia and Ukhia-Sittwe should be
completed immediately and the existing Dhaka-Rangoon air links should be
strengthened further.

Burmese government should provide landing rights to Bangladeshi airlines
to Sittwe and Bangladesh private airlines should be allowed to operate
on Chittagong-Sittwe and Cox?s Bazar-Sittwe routes, he said.

Mr. Mintoo urged the government to take up the issue of allowing
operations of full-fledged branches of Bangladesh banks in Rangoon with
the Burmese government to facilitate the bilateral trade.

According to Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh exported goods worth
1.09 million dollars to Burma during July-March of 1998 while the import
was about 9.78 million during the same period. Bangladesh imports
shrimps, wood, bamboo and cane from Burma and exports cement, flour,
pharmaceuticals and manufacturing goods to Burma.

Meanwhile, the visit of Burmese military leader Senior General Than Shwe
to Bangladesh has been postponed due to his sudden illness. General Than
Shwe was scheduled to arrive Dhaka today.

Mizzima News Group