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BD proposes to set up RMG factories in Rakhine

By Sheikh Shahriar Zaman
February 26, 2016

Bangladesh is closely observing the evolving political situation as democratically elected Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s party is going to take over power from the military junta next month.

“We hope with the change of the government in Myanmar, the situation will improve,” said a senior government official.

Bangladesh has already outreached to National League for Democracy leaders after it won a landslide victory in November when it bagged 255 seats out of 440 in lower house and 135 out of 224 in upper house.

In Myanmar lower house, 110 seats and in upper house 56 seats, are reserved for army members.

The official said Bangladesh has put forward a number of proposals for improving the bilateral relations.

The government has twice proposed for setting up readymade garment factories in Rakhine states where only Myanmar nationals would work, he said.

“We officially asked them to sign an agreement on setting up industries adjacent to bordering areas where Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can invest in Myanmar and vice versa, but we are yet to get any reply from,” he added.

The government would also like to finance development projects like setting up school, hospitals or construct road and bridges in Rakhine states for improving the quality of life of the people live there, the official said.

In security and development, Bangladesh proposed two agreements where one is already agreed by both sides and another one is under negotiations.

Bangladesh proposed to sign Border Liasion Office agreement under which security forces of the both the countries will cooperate to manage borders and solve problems, if and when arise.

“it is a very good initiative and we expect that when it will be put in place, most of the problems will be solved at the borders,” said another official.

Dhaka also proposed to sign comprehensive agreement on security and development and recently responded positively to sign the agreement, he added.

For people-to-people contact, Bangladesh proposed to give scholarships to Myanmar students to study in BUET, Dhaka Medical College and Dhaka university.

“Dhaka University and Yangoon University is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the higher studies,” said another official.

For energy cooperation, Bangladesh proposed to set up hydroelectricity dam projects in Rakhine and buy power from there, he said.

It is profitable for Myanmar to sell power to Bangladesh rather than transmitting the line to Yangoon or other growth centres inside the country, he added.

“We are negotiating and hopefully it will get a boost when the new government will assume power next month,” he said.

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