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Rohingya crisis to hit BD's economy: Bernicat

By bdnews24.com
31st-Oct-2017       
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The US envoy in Dhaka says the Rohingya crisis will affect Bangladesh's economy as over half a million Myanmar nationals crossed the border in just eight weeks.
Some 607,000 Rohingyas, mostly Muslims, have fled the Rakhine State in Buddhist-majority Myanmar since security forces responded to Rohingya militants' attacks on Aug 25 by launching a crackdown, according to international agencies. "Rohingya crisis will also have an impact on this country's economy," Ambassador Marcia Bernicat said on Monday while addressing a luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh or AmCham. She was speaking on the barriers of doing businesses in Bangladesh in the meeting chaired by the AmCham President Nurul Islam.   Earlier this month, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told bdnews24.com tackling the refugee crisis is the 'real challenge' of Bangladesh. He had said Myanmar was "destroying" Bangladesh's economy by pushing the Rohingyas through the border. Bangladesh has long been giving shelter to 400,000 Rohingyas before the latest colossal exodus.
Bernicat expressed "deep appreciation" to the people and the government of Bangladesh for the "generosity" in responding to the crisis by allowing them in. She said the US continues to work with the diplomatic community, the UN and the other countries to urge Myanmar to stop violence and ensure access for humanitarian assistance in Rakhine. The US State Department on Sunday said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Simon Henshaw will lead a delegation to Myanmar and Bangladesh from Oct 29 to Nov 4. The US embassy in Dhaka on Monday said the delegation will come to Dhaka on Nov 1.
Bernicat, however, listed high tariff, unnecessary or arbitrary regulations, the port, cumbersome customs procedures, unreasonable tax orders, corruption and even sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements that lack scientific basis as some of the barriers of doing businesses in Bangladesh.
She told the members of the AmCham that these represent "risks to you and all foreign direct investors."
"US business can be doing so much better [in Bangladesh]. The really good news is when US businesses do better, Bangladesh does better and Bangladeshi businesses do better."
"Unfair trade barriers prevent that further progress from happening," she said adding that the embassy is keen to break those barriers as priority of the President Donald Trump's trade policy.

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