DHAKA, Nov 26 (BSS) - Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to speed up the process of implementation of a series of trade facilitating decisions to boost the two-way trade up to 500 million US dollars year on year.
The decisions include banking arrangement and opening of Letter of Credit (LC), coastal shipping, direct air link, cooperation in livestock and fisheries sector, investment opportunities in Myanmar and the need for enhancement of border trade.
Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan, now in Yangun on a three-day official visit, discussed these issues with ministers of finance, energy and foreign trade and chairman of foreign relations, said a message received here today.
During the meetings, they also felt the necessity of streamlining the banking arrangement to facilitate opening of LC under Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism.
Faruk informed Myanmar's Minister for Energy U That Htay that Bangladesh is keen to import energy like natural gas from Myanmar or be involved in ventures for exploration of oil and gas from its off-shore blocks.
He also invited his Myanmar counterpart Win Myint to visit Bangladesh month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair begins January 1, 2012.
Myanmar business groups were also invited to take part in the fair to promote its products in Bangladesh.
During the meetings, Faruk referred to the Bangladesh Prime Minister's upcoming visit to Myanmar from December 5 to 7 this year and hoped that her visit would further cement the Dhaka- Yangun bilateral relations in all sectors
Bangladesh is planning to sign an Inland Water Transport Protocol (IWTP) agreement with Myanmar to increase connectivity aimed at boosting trade between the two neighbors.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Myanmar has been taking place under the General Trade Agreement and Border Trade Agreement, signed in 1973 and 1994 respectively.
Dhaka exported goods and commodities worth 9.17million US dollars to Yangon in 2008-09, while its import during the period was $66.65 million, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.