Government seeks alternative market due to coronavirus

Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi

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The government is keeping an eye on alternative markets so that the problem of import of Chinese goods due to coronavirus cannot create any adverse impact the Bangladesh market.

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Monday (Feb.10) afternoon after a meeting with a visiting delegation of Canada led by agriculture minister of Sachkachoan province HE David Marrit.

Replying to the reporters' questions about the trade issues for Corona, he said still it is not time to say how much damage could be done. Many items come from China. Readymade garments fabric comes from China, but the problem is mainly in a province. Yet we are keeping an eye on that. If there is a problem in bringing goods from there, we have to think about alternatives. And we have asked the garment traders to report, the real situation will be understood if they report.

He said there would be no problem if the onion could not be imported from China. Onion import from China will not affect us. Now the onion is coming from Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. Moreover the locally grown onion is already in the market bringing the prices of the spices. But I am seeing if there will be problems with other spices. But if there is a problem we have to go to another market. We are aiming for what may be the problem.

Asked if the FBCCI had given any report, he said the traders in the garment sector know that now holiday is going on in China. So there will be no international trade. So if corona lingers the holiday will be extended. After holiday expires the impact will be understood, he said to the journalists.

Replying to a question about the price of garlic in the market, he said, "We are very serious about this, we are watching." Today I will talk about this. Such opportunities are being taken by dishonest traders. I want to go to a tough position about unscrupulous businessmen. Strict action will be taken in this regard. We want to settle on whether the product is from China or not. Garlic, ginger, clothes, I want to know from the businessmen. Since there is no such import of onions, I am not thinking about it.

Tipu Munshi said that the onion has not yet fully arrived. It will start coming in the second week of next month. At that time the price of onion will fall. Onion prices have dropped in the market. However, it would not be fair to lower the price at all. You have to take care that farmers get prices. We'll have to see what prices the farmers are happy with.

Replying to a question as to whether China could extend the holiday to garment products because of extended vacation, he said, if they extended the holiday again, it would affect the garment sector. Traders in the garment sector will have to look at what reports. However, alternative markets will not be available in this sector overnight.

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