Bangladesh in world media this week
BI Desk || BusinessInsider
Collage: The Business Insider Bangladesh
Sri Lanka’s political and economic crisis was headlined on major news outlets in the outgoing week. News of Bangladesh standing beside the debt-ridden nation was also picked up by the international media. Besides, the central bank’s decision to increase LC margin was featured in several media.
Following is a pick of five stories on Bangladesh that made headlines on international media in the outgoing week (May 7 to May 13 ). The stories are sorted according to their merits.
Bangladesh tightens letter of credit rules, doubles margin for non-essential imports
The central bank of Bangladesh has tightened the letter of credit (LC) rules, doubling the margin for all imports, saving some essentials, to ease import-payment pressure on the economy, reports Xinhua on May 11.
"We've imposed higher LC margin to discourage the import of unnecessary items as well as luxury goods," Abu Farah Md Nasser, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB).
Under the latest move, the central bank of Bangladesh imposed a prohibitive 50-percent cash LC margin at the minimum on all non-essential items instead of 25 percent.
According to a notification issued by the BB on Tuesday night, such LC margin for high-end motor vehicles like SUVs and sedan cars along with electrical and electronic products which are being used as home appliances has been fixed at a minimum 75 percent, up from 25 percent.
The products exempted from the LC-margin-restriction inventory are baby foods, essential food and energy products, lifesaving drugs, local and export-oriented industries, government imports for priority projects and agriculture-related imports, according to the notification.
The senior BB official termed the move a temporary measure that will also help improve the country's current-account situation.
Bangladesh Denim Expo kicks off in Dhaka
After a two-year break, the Bangladesh Denim Expo was again held in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka.
The 12th edition of the exhibition themed "Beyond Business" kicked off Tuesday.
The expo has attracted a total of 79 participants from about 10 countries, offering international fashion buyers a one-stop sourcing platform for all aspects of jeanswear, reports Xinhua on May 11.
Exclusive to authorized trade visitors, the expo acts as an important platform for players in the international denim trade to mingle with other people of the fraternity, make new contacts and broker deals.
"We're expecting an increased number of exhibitors and visitors from home and abroad this time," said Mostafiz Uddin, founder and chief executive officer of the Bangladesh Denim Expo.
He said "The world is a slightly different place since the last edition of this show, which took place two years ago. Denim supply chains have experienced major turbulence and disruption and have been forced to innovate and adapt in order to survive and remain relevant."
Against this backdrop, the organizer said this year's Bangladesh Denim Expo addresses the new opportunities for successful and sustainable business in a world that now demands the industry leaders go "Beyond Business."
Sri Lanka to get a year’s extension to repay $200 million bailout to Bangladesh
As cash-strapped Sri Lanka struggles to emerge out of a deepening economic crisis, Bangladesh has extended the term of the $200 million loan to the island nation under a currency swap deal by one more year.
The decision was taken by the Bangladesh Bank directors in a meeting on 8 May. The spokesman of the central bank, Serajul Islam, said that the extension was granted by keeping the conditions for the loan unchanged, reported Firstpost on May 9.
In its first loan to another country, Bangladesh agreed to the deal with Sri Lanka in May 2021. According to the deal, the island nation was supposed to repay the loan within three months, however, as the country is facing a severe economic crisis the loan term has been extended.
Bangladesh on May 5 sent emergency medical supplies to Sri Lanka as the island nation faces one of the worst economic crises since gaining independence.
Bangladesh to regulate digital media to check ‘misuse’
Bangladeshi human rights organisations are protesting the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s (BTRC) proposal to regulate digital platforms, social media, and streaming services.
Government officials told Anadolu Agency that such measures were necessary to supervise internet platforms in light of increased digital crimes and misinformation on social media, Pakistan’s BOL News reported on May 7.
Bangladesh has over 182 million mobile phone subscribers, according to the BTRC. Over 124 million of them have internet access, with 45 million having Facebook accounts.
Over 45 rights organisations, including Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and the Global Network Initiative, have written to the BRTC claiming that it may jeopardise personal data protection and freedom of expression.
According to the draught, authorities can access one’s data, arrest anyone, or remove any content that harms or threatens the state’s image, international relations, the spirit of the liberation battle, casts aspirations on the nation’s father, or exposes government secrets.
Bangladesh dropped 10 places to 162nd out of 180 nations in Reporters Without Borders’ global media freedom rating released last week.
New York hosts grand musical night to celebrate 50 years of historic ‘Concert for Bangladesh’
A grand musical concert was held on Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York as a tribute to the golden jubilee of the historic ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ held in 1971, reported the Economic Times on May 8.
The event was organized by the Department of Information and Communication Technology of Bangladesh to pay homage to the glorious history of the Bangladesh concert.
Bangladesh Minister for Liberation War Affairs AQM Mozammel Haque, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Information and Communication Technology Sajeeb Wazed Joy, State Minister for Information and Communication Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MPs Shamim Osman, Aparajita Haque, and Nurul Amin were present on the occasion.
Renowned German band Scorpion and Bangladeshi band Chirkutt performed during the event.
In his welcome address, State Minister for Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that the money raised from the concert will be spent on cyber security for the children of underdeveloped countries in collaboration with the UNDP.
‘Concert for Bangladesh’ was organized on 1 August 1971 at the same venue with the initiative of Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and his friend Beatles Guitarist Gorge Harrison. The concert aimed to raise awareness about the sufferings of citizens of ‘East Pakistan’. Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and Leon Russel performed at the concert.
The ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ raised funds for the 10 million refugees who had taken shelter in India after fleeing the atrocities of the Pakistan army.