Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh-Myanmar fourth Joint Trade Commission (JTC) meeting will be held in the capital Dhaka on September 22-23 aiming to boost bilateral trade relations between the two countries, officials said on Saturday.
“We’ve started preparation to hold the meeting,” a senior official of the commerce ministry said, adding that a preparatory meeting will be held on Sunday at the commerce ministry.
Overall bilateral trade relations including establishing direct banking arrangement for simplifying the payment procedure between the two neighbouring countries are expected to be discussed in the meeting.
The central bank has already submitted a report to the commerce ministry relating to establishing direct banking relations between the two countries.
“We’ve recommended that there is no problem to establish direct banking channel between the two countries using the existing Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank said.
The ACU is an arrangement comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a multilateral basis.
Currently, payments for foreign trade are settled between the two countries through a third country like Singapore and Thailand.
Bangladesh’s importers now settle their payments for bulk exports through bank drafts issued by foreign banks in a third country. An importer is entitled to bank draft against import worth US$ 10,000-$20,000 at a single time under the existing border trade arrangement.
BBN/SI/AD-21Aug10-11:51 pm (BST)