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Bangladesh: IBCCI seeks govt nod for import of buffalo meat from India.
Sep 25, 2023

The India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) has requested the government to allow buffalo-meat import from India to meet the growing demand of the country, sources said.
Recently, IBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad has applied to the commerce ministry, seeking authorization for importing such meat.
He said in the letter, 'Some of our members are willing to import frozen halal meat from India. And keeping this in view they have already applied to the Directorate of Livestock for permission under Section 23(33) of the Import Policy Order 2021-2024.'
He mentioned that the demand for meat products in Bangladesh had been steadily increasing due to the growth of population and changing dietary preferences.
India has a well-established and reputable meat industry that adheres to international standards of halal food, hygiene, safety, and quality control, he also mentioned.
The current cost of local fresh meat is Tk 800-850 per kg. If frozen halal boneless buffalo meat is imported from India, the selling price can be fixed at Tk 500-550 per kg, according to the chamber.
Mr. Matlub Ahmad said, 'For the upcoming election, price hike has been one of the most discussed topics in the country right now. Keeping this in view, if you allow us to import frozen meat, we can deliver it to the consumers at a cheaper price.'
According to the Import Policy-2021-24 notification that was issued in April 2022 by the commerce ministry, prior approval has to be taken from the Department of Livestock for import of meat including frozen buffalo (bovine) meat, said an earlier letter sent by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
Both Indian exporter and Bangladeshi importer associations raised concern over the issue in the past couple of months, read the letter.
Earlier, All Indian Buffalo and Sheep Meat Exporters Association (AIMLEA) and Bangladesh Meat Importers and Traders Association (BMITA) requested the Bangladesh government authorities concerned to consider resolving the issue.
The previous letter highlighted that the Bangladesh national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 imposed 20 per cent supplementary duty along with an increase in the assessment value from US$ 4.0/kg to US$ 5.0/kg that was introduced for frozen boneless bovine meat imports from India. The issue nullified the SAFTA benefit available to Indian exporters.
It mentioned that Indian companies were among the largest global exporters of high-quality, hygienically processed meat, of a variety that was non-competitive in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is now self-sufficient in meat production, a source said, but it spent nearly US$ 2.5 million in the fiscal year 2017-18 to import the item from 14 countries. Some luxury hotels and food chains import the meat, the source added.
The country produced over 8.71 million tonnes of meat in the FY 2022-23 against an annual demand for nearly 7.6 million tonnes, according to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS).
According to a Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) concept paper, meat import increased four times in five years - from US$ 0.72 million in FY 2013-14 to nearly US$ 2.5 million in FY 2017-18.
Bangladesh imported meat from 14 countries, with India being the largest source.
Other countries included Ethiopia, France, Korea, Thailand, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the USA, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.