BD moves to boost exports to Iran

Amid continuous down trend of the export volume Bangladesh has moved forward to increase shipment to the sanctions-torn Iran, officials said Sunday.
Bangladesh mainly exports raw jute and jute goods to the Muslim nation and due to various sanctions export of the items there fell drastically.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics show that in fiscal year (FY) 2010-11 Bangladesh’s export to Iran was worth US$ 97.25 million which, in FY 2011-12, fell to $ 83.32 million, marking a 14.32 per cent decline.
During the July-November period of the current fiscal year goods worth $ 30.19 million were exported to Iran.
Alongside jute and jute goods, Bangladesh’s exports to Iran also include oil seeds, pharmaceuticals, kitchenware, plastics, vegetables, textile fibres, paper yarn, woven fabric, electronic equipment and stainless steel blade.
The EPB recently suggested the Bangladesh embassy in Tehran to take various measures so that export to Iran is boosted.
The Bureau asked the embassy officials to identify potential exportable items from Bangladesh to Iran, market size and market trend, sending samples of products marketed in Iran for adaptation requirements, packaging and presentation requirements and quality requirements.
The embassy officials are also being asked to study the nature of competition in the Iranian market, trend of prices of the items, tax structure, non-tariff barriers, distribution channels and market penetration strategy.
The EPB asked the embassy personnel to collect report on prospective products from the local research institute, chamber of commerce, university or any other institute as effective tools for market promotion and enduring into the market with the existing produce.
To promote the market of Bangladeshi products the officials have been asked to build up good relationship with the local importers.
Officials said financial transaction with Iran faces various hurdles because of the sanctions imposed on it by the Western nations that discourage exporters to trade with the Muslim nation.
Statistics show that due to the sanctions the transactions among nine member-countries of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism declined sharply. Currently Iran is holding the chairmanship of ACU where Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and the Maldives are members.
In first ten months of this calendar year total transactions among the ACU members were worth $ 15.90 billion, marking a negative growth of 37.77 per cent. During the period Bangladesh’s transaction through ACU mechanism saw a negative growth of 19 per cent.

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