Bangladesh is trying to import onion from Turkey: Momen

DHAKA, Sept 17, 2020 (BSS) – Foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today said Bangladesh embassy in Ankara has already contacted with the exporters there to import onion from Turkey as India abruptly imposed ban on the export of this essential cooking ingredient.

“We imported onion from Turkey earlier … so after getting the news (Indian ban), as per my consultation with our commerce minister, I instructed our ambassador to Turkey to contact with the Turkish exporters for importing onions,” Momen, who arrived here this morning after a day-day visit in Ankara, told reporters at his office today.

On Monday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) of India issued a notification imposing restrictions on onion export with immediate effect that impacted the onion markets in Bangladesh.

The foreign minister acknowledged that Bangladesh has officially conveyed its “deep concern” over India’s abrupt decision to ban export of onion by sending a letter to India through its high commission in Dhaka.

“The latest abrupt announcement of the government of India on 14 September 2020 undermines the discussions that took place in 2019 and 2020 between the two friendly countries on the matter and the understanding shared,” read the foreign ministry letter dated September 15.

In the letter, Dhaka requested the Indian high commission to convey the message to authorities concerned in Delhi and take necessary measures to resume onion exports taking into consideration the excellent ties of friendship and understanding among the two neighbours.

The letter pointed out that at a secretary-level meeting between commerce ministries of the two countries, held on January 15-16, 2020, Dhaka requested India not to impose export restriction on essential food items required by Bangladesh.

The letter said the Bangladesh side during the meeting also requested India to inform Dhaka “ahead of time” even in case of any event necessitating such a restriction.

“The matter was also raised by hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh during the VVIP visit to India in October 201, whrein the Bangladesh side requested the Indian side to inform in advance about such measures being taken,” read the letter.

On Wednesday, Commerce minister Tipu Munshi informed that Bangladesh’s monthly demand of onion is around 2 lakh tons and the current stock of onion in the country is around 6 lakh tons.

There is a deficit of four lakh tons compared to the demand up to January next and 12 to 13 hundred tons of onions have been loaded from Myanmar, which will come in a few days, he added.

Meanwhile, the government has also taken steps to import onion from Egypt, foreign ministry sources said.



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