Monthly Archives: November 2011

British co to invest $ 13.5m in DEPZ

British co to invest $ 13.5m in DEPZ
Business Report

M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd, a British Virgin Island company will set up a garments manufacturing industry in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ).

This fully foreign owned company will invest about 13.5m US Dollar in setting up their unit and will manufacture all kinds of garments item. The company will also create employment opportunity for 4685 Bangladeshi nationals.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd in BEPZA Complex in the capital recently. AZM Azizur Rahman, General Manager (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA and Md. Waliul Islam Towhid, General Manager of M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd signed the agreement. Major General ATM Shahidul Islam, ndu, psc, Executive Chairman, Sayed Nurullslam, Member, (Investment Promotion), Md. Shawkat Nabi, Secretary, Mahmud Hasan, General Manager (Public Relations) and other Officials of BEPZA were present at the signing ceremony.


Bashundhara Group to produce LPG cylinder

Bashundhara Group to produce LPG cylinder
Business Report

Gas shortage has almost stopped new gas connection to homes and business and as an alternative to it the government has decided to promote the use of cylinder gas at all levels.

In this background, the Bashundara Group has launched a cylinder making plant at a cost of Tk 100 crore styled as ‘Basundara Liquified Petroleum Gas Ltd’ (BLPGL) to be set up at Sundarban Industrial complex at Mongla. It will be a mega project to produce international standard gas cylinder.

Managing Director of the Bashundhara Group Sayem Sobhan recently inaugurated the plant at a simple function at the plant site. Senior Deputy Managing Director Belayet Hossain, Deputy Managing Director Mustafizur Rahman, Senior Executive Director Mahbubuzzaman, Advisor Press and Media Mohammad Abu Tayeb, General Manager Sales and Marketing Shahin Ahmed, General Manager Operations Engineer Zahid among others were present.

Mustafizur Rahman speaking on the occasion said that the company would pursue  the policy of serving the nation by offering pragmatic alternative to fuel crisis. “We’ll try hard to make the product affordable and available all over the country,” he said in response to a question on price and supply strategy of the company.

The project has been implemented under the technical support of two Chinese companies -Hunan Technical Import and Export Corporation and Jiangyan City Yuehai Manufacturing Company Ltd.

The installed production capacity of the plant is 100 thousand cylinders of different size a month. It is also expected that the existing LPG marketing companies will take the company cylinders for enhancing the supply of the LPG at the market.

The BLPG has also entered into an agreement with a Danish company – Kris Kossan – to commission another LPG bottling facility at Sundarban Industrial Complex. The new LPG bottling factory is likely to be made operational by January next year.

Currently the BLPG takes LPG feed from Petronas Trading Corporation of Malaysia and delivers as much as 32,000 metric tons of gas to the consumers after bottling at the plant. The company hopes to double its production to 64,0000 metric tons a year when new bottling plant goes into operation.

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish
Star Business Report

Bangladesh has got rid of a mandatory EU screening for exporting frozen fish after the country made progress in its residue monitoring system.

Earlier the European Union used to test 20 percent of frozen fish consignments from Bangladesh to keep its exporters under a continuous pressure to improve compliance.

The decision was posted in the official journal of the European Union on November 16.

The lifting of the restriction, which was slapped two years ago, will cut delays in export and reduce costs.

“It will bring about changes in the negative mindset about our products abroad and increase confidence about our laboratory capability,” said Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas at the seminar. “Demands for our fisheries will rise,” he said.

The Department of Fisheries, and EU-United Nations Industrial Development Organisation co-organised the event at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, focusing on emerging food safety issues and compliance.

The EU relaxed its rule after an audit team of the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Commission visited Bangladesh in March-April.

“The results of that inspection confirmed considerable improvements in that third country, particularly in the implementation of analytical methods used for residue monitoring and traceability of animals and products,” said Official Journal of the European Union.

“Based on the results of that inspection, it appears unnecessary that Member States continue to ensure additional sampling and analytical tests on consignments of crustaceans imported from Bangladesh,” it said.

At the programme, participants said there has been progress in various areas of fisheries sector to ensure production and processing of safe shrimp over the past several years.

With registration of 190,000 shrimp farms, implementation of traceability has become easier. The number of laboratories and testing machines has increased. At the same time, the government has also framed laws on fish feed and hatcheries.

“But we have to continue our efforts to sustain our achievement,” said the minister, stressing the need for steps to control the use of illegal chemicals, pesticides and feeds, stop anti-biotic contamination, and poor processing at factories.

The sector that employs more than 10 lakh people fetched $625 million in exports in fiscal 2010-11.

During July-October export earnings rose 21 percent to $208 million, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.

S Humayun Kabir, director of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, termed the EU waiver a great achievement.

He said the association has set a target of $1.5 billion from export of shrimp and fisheries by 2015.

Kabir, however, feared damage of cultured shrimp due to virus infection that causes millions of dollars in losses, putting many farmers in debt.

“The future sustainability depends on the future of disease management,” he said.

Fisheries Secretary Ujjwal Bikash Dutta, and Counsellor and Head of Cooperation of EC delegation to Bangladesh Milko Van Gool also spoke.

Of asparagus and capsicum—a farmer’s success story

Of asparagus and capsicum—a farmer’s success story
Our Correspondent

BOGRA, Nov, 27: Anser Ali 60, from Bujruk Shokra village under Shibganj upazila of Bogra district, a grower of exotic vegetables, has brought a tremendous change in his life cultivating uncommon vegetables like asparagus in his land. He usually sells them in Dhaka and Cittagong between February and March earning around Tk 70 thousand a year. February to March is the peak time for asparagus.

He started farming foreign vegetables about 20 years ago on 7 decimals of his land by investing only Tk 200. For his outstanding contribution in farming foreign and local vegetables, he received Tk 3.5 lakh as prize money from Bangladesh government in September this year.

Agriculturist Md. Mahatab Uddin encouraged him at the outset to cultivate capsicum in 1992. His first harvest was not successful due to lack of knowledge on cultivation methods.

He cultivates 600 decimals of land in the winter season and 231 decimals in the summer for supplying foreign vegetables to some multi-star hotels in the capital. He said his annual profit has reached 2.7 lakh from selling vegetables like pepper, capsicum and asparagus etc. He further said he has been producing commercially sweet corn, hybrid cabbage, hybrid onion and some other foreign vegetables. He pointed out that getting quality seeds is one of the vital setbacks in cultivating foreign vegetables in our country. With the profit out of selling vegetables, he has purchased 429 decimals of land and is running his family as well as repaying his loan.

He also claimed, he supplies 20 varieties of foreign vegetables to 8 customers in the capital. He has created job opportunities for local jobless men and women in his vegetables fields. He now wishes to export vegetables if he would get government assistance in this regard.

Lack of transportation facilities is one big problem for foreign vegetables cultivation. Railway is the most effective transportation though there is no direct railway communication from Bogra to Dhaka and Cittagong. For that reason, vegetables cultivators have to spend huge money as truck fares. He said, the foreign vegetable cultivation can be profitable and may contribute a lot to our economy if the authority pays heed to cultivators and their problems.

1.7m users to get Teletalk 3G services from March

1.7m users to get Teletalk 3G services from March

State-owned cell phone operator Teletalk is expected to provide Third Generation or “3G” mobile services to 1.7 million users by March next year upgrading its technical infrastructures. “Teletalk is working rapidly to launch the 3G services from March 26,” Teletalk managing director Mujibur Rahman told BSS. Only 1.7million users will enjoy the services initially and the number would be increased gradually, he added.

He said Teltalk nearly finalized the preparedness to launch the 3G services installing additional 2160 BTS or Base Transceiver Stations.

Besides, he said, installation work of new 708 BTS was almost complete and they will be put on operation with the existing 1250 BTS. Another 100 BTS were already installed in Dhaka and works were underway to set up more 68 BTS by March in the capital.

At the same time, 500 new Transmission Re-ceiver Equipment have been installed to reduce call congestion, Mujibur said. Teletalk has now 29 Base Station Controllers (BSC) of which seven has been installed newly. They are working as network hub.

The Teletalk initiatives came as the government earlier decided to award the state-run enterprise with the task of providing 3G services. Dhaka, Chitta-gong, Sylhet and others big cities will be brought under the services. The user will have to collect new 3G enabled SIM changing the existing 2G SIM card.

Experts said 3G is the way to provide wireless broadband. This is a mobile dedicated technology and can be obtained through smartphones or modems. After introducing the 3G technology or mobile broadband, the mobile user would enjoy the real time video calling, live mobile tv, high speed download, HD gaming, e-education, public health, tele-medicine and e-shopping.

On the other hand, the Teletalk managing director thought that the user number is being cumulatively increased after the declaration of launching 3G, and hoped that it will be reached 30 lakh before March.

Currently, around 50,000 SIM cards of Teletalk is being sold every month, he added.

Teletalk will also set up four customer centres—two in Dhaka and one each in Narayanganj and Sylhet. —Bss

Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to reach two-way trade up to $500m

Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to reach two-way trade up to $500m

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.

Construction of 150-MW power plant at Khalishpur goes on in full swing

Construction of 150-MW power plant at Khalishpur goes on in full swing

KHULNA, Nov 26 (BSS)-The construction of 150-MW Peaking Power Plant at Khalishpur is going on in full swing.

The state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) sources said the gas-fired power plant is being constructed at a cost of about Taka 1,500 crore to help augment power supply to the area.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing Taka 1100 crore for the project.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Engineering Procurement Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) of Spain and the North West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGL) of the PDB on May 12 to finish the construction of the plant by February 2013.

The construction of the plant started in August this year on a seven acres of land and is scheduled to be completed within 22 months.

Executive engineer of NWPGL Moshiur Rahman has expressed the hope that the construction the would be finished before the schedule.