Trade through Teknaf land port at a standstill

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Attack on Myanmar border post on Oct 9

Trade through Teknaf land port at a standstill

SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS from Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar


Publication Date: 29 November, 2016

MediaThe Independent

Original URL :  Trade through Teknaf land port at a standstill

E-paper  URL:  Trade through Teknaf land port at a standstill

Owing to the unstable situation on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, trade between the two countries has come to a standstill during the last two months.

Businessmen expressed grave concern and demanded that steps be taken to normailse the situation as early as possible.
Trading, including export and import, through the Mongdo port of Myanmar was suspended following an attack by miscreants on the Border Operation Post (BOP) of the Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar on October 9.
Border passes for traders temporarily visiting Myanmar for business purposes are not being issued.
“The operational activities of the land port have remained more or less suspended for the past two months. Businessmen, particularly those belonging to the Muslim community, went into hiding after the violence. We are now incurring losses,” said Md Farhaduzzaman, member of the C&F Association of the Teknaf Land Port.
Till 2015, trade with Myanmar through the Teknaf port had been increasing. In 2015, a total of 7,463 metric tonnes of goods were exported, but it decreased to 3,829 metric tonnes from January to October 2016. In 2015, 72,605 metric tonnes of goods were imported, but it fell to 60,168 metric tonnes in 2016.
The port authorities said trade has fallen because the operational activities of the Customs and Immigration of the Mongdo port are suspended.
Dry fish, toys, cosmetics, onion, ginger, pickle, gram are mainly imported, while plastic, medicines, hair and food items are exported through this port.
On a visit to the place on November 25, this correspondent found that the Teknaf port was lying idle. No ship or boat was seen loading or unloading goods.
Again, on November 27 this correspondent saw a small ship unloading dry fish, which had came from the Akyab port.
When contacted, Md Abu Noor Khalid, manager (operation) of United Land Port Teknaf Limited, told The Independent: “Following the recent
incident in Myanmar, export and import through the Mongdo port has remained suspended.
There has been no work here for about 15 days. However, importers and exporters are now resuming their business through the Akyab port. But this costs more and takes more time. If the situation improves, trade through the Mongdo port will  resume.”
The Customs superintendent of the Teknaf port, Abdul Manan, told The Independent: “As trade has stopped, earning of revenue, too, has fallen.”
Each month, the revenue earned from the port was Tk. 6.5 crore on an average. However, it has fallen in October and November this year, said customs sources.
From October 9 to 26, all operational activities of the Teknaf port were at a standstill. However, traders have recently started using the Akiab port of Myanmar.
As such, work at the Teknaf port has picked up pace to some extent. But it is not more than 30 per cent, said the sources.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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