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Russia Is Boosting Business Ties With Bangladesh – OpEd

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Bangladesh has sought Russia’s cooperation in exporting goods. Newly-appointed Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh met Commerce Minister on September 20, 2021.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said garments made in Bangladesh are being exported to the Russian market through other countries due to various complications. Complications have been identified. Efforts are also underway to resolve these. If the problems are solved, it will be possible to export a huge number of Bangladeshi products to the Russian market. He also mentioned the sincere cooperation of the Russian government in the direct export of readymade garments and other products.

The Commerce Minister made the remarks during an exchange of views with newly appointed Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Vikentevich Mastitsky at the Commerce Minister’s office in the Secretariat on September 20, 2021. This information has been informed in the press release of the ministry.

The Commerce Minister said, “There is a huge demand for various products including Bangladeshi-made garments in the Russian market.” There are many opportunities to increase Bangladesh’s trade with the country. It is not possible to increase trade with Russia due to transactions in banking channels and some tariff complications.

At the time, newly appointed Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Vikentevich Mastitsky said, “Russia is interested in increasing trade and investment with Bangladesh. There is a lot of demand for Bangladeshi products in Russia. Trade and investment in both countries will increase if the ongoing trade barriers are removed. The Russian government is sincere in overcoming the ongoing problems. Russia wants to be a partner in the development of Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh, in cooperation with Russia, is keen to increase exports to Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union and other CIS countries,” he said.

It may be mentioned that in the last fiscal year 2020-2021, Bangladesh exported goods worth 665.31 million US dollars to Russia. During the same period, it imported goods worth 466.70 million. Bangladesh is going to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia. Bangladesh has decided to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia to meet the growing demand for the staple food in the country.

The government took the decision during a meeting on Wednesday, according to Shamsul Arefin, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division. The price would be finalised later by the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase, he said.

In the meeting, the state-run Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company Limited (KAFCO) was also given the nod to buy 100,020 tonnes of urea fertilizer from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, 40,000 tonnes of furnace oil are being imported from Indonesia at a cost of Tk 1.74 billion for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

Russia will provide 75 scholarships to Bangladeshi students. Russia has announced 75 scholarships for Bangladeshi students in the current academic year. The information was given at a press conference at the Russian House in Dhaka on Thursday (September 23) afternoon.

Russia will provide 75 scholarships to Bangladeshi students The Russian House hosted the press conference on the occasion of International Journalist Solidarity Day. Mr. Maxim Dobrokhotov, Director of the Russian House in Dhaka, noted the very important contribution of the national media in daily public life and wished the Bangladeshi journalists well in their professional duties. He emphasized that online journalism is now very popular in Bangladesh and is playing a leading role in the media. Dobrokhotov emphasized on the traditionally strong ties between Bangladesh and Russia and hoped that these ties would be even stronger in the future.

He also mentioned that the Russian House in Dhaka is working hard on educational activities including selection of candidates for government scholarship programs in Russian universities to make the future skilled citizens of Bangladesh.

He said the Russian government has allocated 75 scholarships for Bangladeshis in the 2021-2022 academic year. It is hoped that this number could increase further in the coming year. At this time, he highlighted the important cultural and historical events of the Russian House this year and plans for the future.

At the end of the press conference, Barek Kaiser, a PhD student in the Faculty of Journalism at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, handed over his book ‘Bangabandhu in Russia’ to Maxim Dobrokhotov, Director of the Russian House.

Russia has expressed interest in buying mangoes from Bangladesh. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander V. Montitsky expressed this interest during a meeting with Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak at the Secretariat.

Mantitsky told the meeting that Bangladeshi mangoes are very tasty and of good quality. Russia has huge potential for mango exports. Russia is interested in buying mangoes.

According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh is the seventh largest mango producer in the world. In Bangladesh, 2.5 million tons of mango has been produced in 200,000 hectares of land this season. Last season, 24 lakh 6 thousand tons of mango was produced in 1 lakh 90 thousand hectares of land. Exporters have exported 691 tonnes of mangoes in the fiscal year 2020-21.

The agriculture minister said Bangladesh wants to import diammonium phosphate (DAP) and potassium fertilizers from Russia. He said the farmers of the country are being encouraged to use DAP fertilizer.

He said, ‘The use of DAP fertilizer in Bangladesh is increasing day by day, because the present government has reduced its price from Tk 90 per kg to Tk 18. We want to sign a memorandum of understanding on the import of DAP and potassium from Russia.

Bangladesh has been importing MOP fertilizer from Russia since 2013 and there is a memorandum of understanding between the two countries in this regard.

Besides, the agriculture minister requested the Russian Ambassador to reconsider the import of potatoes from Bangladesh to Russia. He said, ‘Bangladesh government has taken many steps to make potatoes free from bacteria and safe. The country is now producing many high-quality potatoes. Russia may start importing potatoes again.

Russia imposed a ban on potato exports from Bangladesh in 2014 due to brown rot disease in potatoes. The Russian ambassador assured that necessary steps would be taken to import potatoes.

Russia wants to increase cooperation in the energy sector

Russia wants to increase cooperation in the energy sector. Russia wants to increase cooperation in Bangladesh’s energy sector. Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Vikenteviz Mantitsky expressed this interest during a meeting with State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid at the Secretariat on Monday (August 18th). This information has been given in the press release of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

During the meeting, they discussed various issues of mutual interest. The Russian ambassador said Russia is keen to increase cooperation in Bangladesh’s energy sector. Emphasizing on the signing of the MoU aimed at expanding cooperation in various fields of energy on the basis of mutual consent, he said that both countries would benefit if it was expedited. Russia can also contribute to Bangladesh’s energy security and deep-sea exploration activities, the ambassador said.

Calling Russia a tested friend, the state minister said Russia could co-operate in providing training to Bangladeshi engineers. We can also use Russia’s experience in oil and gas exploration in Onsor (sea area). The power and energy sector is growing steadily. A safe investment environment has been created. The state minister also said Bangladesh would welcome investments from Russian public and private companies.

Russia has expressed interest in investing in various fruit processing and food storage facilities in Bangladesh.

Russia’s Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Vikentevich Mantitsky paid a courtesy call on Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder at the Secretariat on Tuesday.

During the meeting, they discussed various issues including economic development of Bangladesh and expansion of bilateral trade and commerce.

Sadhan Chandra Majumder said that Russia’s relations with Bangladesh are very good. This relationship is gradually expanding in various fields including trade and investment. He recalled with gratitude Russia’s cooperation in rebuilding the economy and infrastructure of the post-independence war-torn country of Bangladesh.

The food minister said the present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly for the betterment of the people of the country. As a result, Bangladesh is rapidly improving its socio-economic indicators. He mentioned that the government is working to ensure food security of the people as well as to build a sustainable food management.

The Russian Ambassador said that there is immense potential for trade and investment between Bangladesh and Russia. Russia is keen to take advantage of this opportunity to play a role in achieving food security in Bangladesh.

Food Secretary at the time. Moshammat Nazmanara Khanum, Director General of the Food Department Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Chairman of the Food Safety Authority Abdul Qayyum Sarkar and Charge d’Affaires of the Russian Embassy in Dhaka Sergei Papov were present.

(Information is taken from various Bangladeshi media outlets)

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Pathik Hasan

Pathik Hasan is a Dhaka-based NGO activist, researcher and freelance writer on contemporary international issues whose work has been published in many local and international publications. Academic background: BSS (Peace and Conflict Studies) and MSS (International Relations) under the University of Dhaka. He can be reached at [email protected]

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