No Australian timeframe for lifting ban on direct cargo flights: envoy

Staff Correspondent | Published at 09:53pm on January 23, 2017


Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed talks to Australian high commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett during the latter’s visit to the minister at the commerce ministry in Dhaka on Monday. — PID photo

Australian high commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett did not gave any assurance of lifting ban on direct cargo flight from Bangladesh which was imposed in December 2015 as a preventive security measure.
‘Bangladesh has appointed a British company to improve the security system in its Airports and we are observing the situation. But I could not give any timeframe to lift the ban on cargo flights,’ the envoy said in a briefing at commerce ministry following a meeting with commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Monday.
Julia hoped the trade and business between Bangladesh and Australia would increase more in the coming days saying that a very good relation prevailed between the two countries.
Replying to a question, the commerce minister said that there were some aviation related problems to send goods directly to Australia but the barrier would be removed.
‘A British company is working at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka to upgrade the security system and the situation is improving,’ Tofail said.
The commerce minister requested Australian businesses to make investment in Bangladesh and offered a Special Economic Zone to set up factories, saying that investors will get duty free market access of their products to the EU market if they set up industry in Bangladesh.
He hoped that Bangladesh’s exports to Australia would exceed $2 billion in next five years as the country provided duty free market access for Bangladeshi products.
Bangladesh’s export earnings from Australia in the financial year 2015-16 grew by 16.27 per cent to $705.63 million from $606.88 million in the FY15, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data.