Bangladesh-RP air pact pushed
Ann Corvera (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2008 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Bangladesh is pushing to implement eight existing agreements between the Philippines and the South Asian country specifically on air services.

In a visit to The STAR yesterday, Bangladesh Ambassador Ikhtiar Chowdhury cited the 1997 agreement entered into by his government with the Philippines on designating flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) to make operational the proposed flight route of Manila to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka via Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia twice a week.

Chowdhury expressed confidence that PAL has the “sufficient number of aircraft” and there will be “no shortage of passengers” especially in the Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur areas for the air service agreement to be implemented productively.

He highlighted the 40- to 45-million strong “purchasing power” of his countrymen. Bangladesh has a population of 150 million, he said. 

Chowdhury also pointed out that some 1,000 of 150,000 foreign workers in Bangladesh are Filipinos. He added that in Malaysia, between 600,000 to 700,000 Bangladeshis are working in the popular hub for migrants that include Filipinos.

He said this “viable” pact could also be beneficial to the promotion of tourism and cultural relations between Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Chowdhury, a veteran in foreign service, who began his work as envoy last September, took note of the Philippines’ thriving tourism industry, which he added, is a reliable source of earning for many Filipinos.

He said he has recently met with the Philippines’ foreign secretary and executive secretary on the PAL air service pact and was assured that they would look into its implementation.

Chowdhury meanwhile said that under his tenure of three years, he aims to strengthen relations with the Philippines especially on efforts to lower the price of medicine here.

He said he would meet with the Philippine health secretary on the possibility of exporting medicine from Bangladesh which, he said, could lead to the lowering of the price of drugs here by some 60 to 70 percent.

Chowdhury said that Bangladesh is now producing and exporting “raw materials” even as decades earlier, they were in the same predicament as the Philippines where medicine and hospitalization costs are high, owing to the control of multinational companies of the drug sector.

He said the use of generic medicine and cheaper but still quality production of raw materials have prompted medicine prices in Bangladesh to fall dramatically.

“We are sufficient in drug production. We have an export license from the UK and soon in the US and Australia to export medicine,” Chowdhury said.

The ambassador also has high hopes that the implementation of the other agreements signed between 1980 and 1997 will thrive.

It lists the Trade Agreement and Cultural Agreement signed between the two countries on May 26, 1980; the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation and the Agreement on Merchant Shipping signed on Oct. 10, 1989; Memorandum of Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation signed on Feb. 18, 1995; Air Services Agreement signed on Sept. 8, 1997; the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and the Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment signed also on Sept. 8, 1997. 

AGREEMENT AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION BANGLADESH BANGLADESH AMBASSADOR IKHTIAR CHOWDHURY BANGLADESH AND THE PHILIPPINES CHOWDHURY DHAKA AND KUALA LUMPUR ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE AGREEMENT INCOME AND THE AGREEMENT PHILIPPINES
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with