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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Australia and Indonesia eyeing Bangladesh

Saturday, 28 Jan 2012

Australian and Indonesia coal miners are eyeing Bangladesh as a potential new market after the authorities concerned have opted to import coal, instead of exploring its domestic reserves.

Traders and experts said that meanwhile, the Bangladesh's option has also opened up scope for India to export its low quality coal to the former.

Bangladesh has been importing some 2.0 million tonnes from that country annually. Prof Mohammad Tamim, a former special assistant on energy affairs to the past caretaker government told the FE that "For power generation, we will prefer coal from Australia or Indonesia as the Indian coal is not energetic enough to serve the purpose.”

He said though the coal of South Africa is of high quality, it would be much expensive for Bangladesh.

However, a section of traders said India coal could be very much used in power plants after being blended with coal from Australia or Indonesia.

A leader of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry told the FE that "If Indian coal starts coming in a very large quantity, the already persistent large trade gap against Bangladesh will widen further enlarging, in favour of the South Asian major economy.”

However, the trade gap was expected to narrow down as India announced duty and quota free access for Bangladeshi items including 46 garment products late last year.

The ministry of commerce officials said that with the increase in exports of garment and some other items to India following its announcement about shortening its sensitive list to 25 from 480, the trade gap is expected to narrow at a quicker pace.

Currently, India exports goods worth USD 5.0 billion to Bangladesh against its import worth only USD 500 million from the latter a year, as the trade data until June last indicated.


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