Bangladesh Seeks Deal with Myanmar for Rice and Farm Products

**Summary:** Bangladesh is fast-tracking the process of finalizing a deal with Myanmar to procure rice and farm products, aiming to replenish stock amidst increasing market demand.

Summary: Bangladesh is fast-tracking the process of finalizing a deal with Myanmar to procure rice and farm products, aiming to replenish stock amidst increasing market demand.

Bangladesh is making swift progress in preparing a deal document with Myanmar to secure rice and farm products, officials confirmed. The Ministry of Commerce recently shared a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) with stakeholders, seeking their input by March 10. The MoU is set to be signed between the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), representing Myanmar's private-sector rice industry.

The agreement with Myanmar is not limited to rice exports, as Myanmar also intends to supply additional farm products such as ginger, garlic, and onions to Bangladesh. These spice items are currently in high demand in the Bangladeshi market. Myanmar initially submitted a draft MoU to Bangladesh in October, with an updated version sent in February after further revisions.

During a meeting held at the commerce ministry last month, officials emphasized the need for swift feedback from stakeholders to finalize the MoU promptly. The TCB chairman proposed including provisions for exports to Myanmar by the government trading arm, TCB, in the agreement. Additionally, discussions are underway to schedule a virtual meeting with Myanmar's relevant ministry to establish a timeline for signing the trade memorandum.

Chairman of the TCB, Brigadier-General Md Ariful Hassan, expressed optimism about the potential benefits of formalizing the deal with Myanmar. He highlighted the opportunity for the corporation to access essential farm products more efficiently and affordably through this agreement. The collaboration with Myanmar's private sector is expected to provide Bangladesh with increased options for importing rice and other agricultural products to meet local demand, which has surged due to the influx of displaced individuals from Myanmar.

According to data from the Myanmar Rice Federation, Myanmar exported 2.2 million tonnes of rice in the fiscal year 2023. A previous government-to-government MoU signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar in September 2022 outlined annual rice exports of 250,000 tonnes, along with 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from 2022 to 2027. The impending deal with Myanmar's private sector is poised to further enhance Bangladesh's access to essential food items, potentially easing the pressure on subsidized food supplies provided to 10 million families by the government.

As Bangladesh navigates the complexities of securing vital food supplies and addressing market demands, the collaboration with Myanmar represents a strategic move towards ensuring food security and stability in the region. Stay tuned as developments unfold in this crucial partnership between the two neighboring countries.

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Arman Alif

Hi, Ali Rahman in the house! From Chittagong, Bangladesh, I've been on a wild ride from Banskhali Bangabandhu High School to Govt. Alaol College and beyond, landing me at National University. Now, I'm here to dish out the lowdown on national issues and global news. Stick around for a fresh take on what's shaking up our world! Connect With Me