Bangladesh bans visas for Pakistanis putting trade ties in danger Thursday, May 16, 2013 - Islamabadâ€”In a shocking development, exports of $ 900 million to Bangladesh is in doldrums, as the Pakistanâ€™s almost all kinds of citizens including the representatives of business community have been denied the visas by Bangladesh. â€œYes, the Dhaka has placed the ban on issuance of its visas to Pakistanis on account of the allegations according to which Pakistan is sending some elements in the disguise of businessmen, journalists, intellectuals who are found in abetting the sentiments of Jihad in Bangladesh,â€ a senior official at commerce ministry confided to Pakistan Observer. This starling disclosure has been unveiled when a top ranking Karachi-based businessman applied the visa for Bangladesh, but he was flatly refused and then the said businessman approached commerce ministry for intervention but during the official correspondence with foreign ministry its has been divulged that Bangladesh has informally imposed the ban on issuance of its visas to Pakistanis. The sources said that Bangladesh took this decision just because of the perpetual penetration of some people which are playing unscrupulous role in fomenting the sentiment of Bangladeshi masses for Jihad putting the peace of the country at stake. â€œThey are also involved in objectionable activities which are against the interests of the country,â€ the official told quoting the concerns of Bangladesh. To a question the official said that Pakistan is exporting textile products, pharmaceutical products, wheat and some other items. In addition many business tycoons of Pakistan have already invested in Bangladesh in the sector of textile mainly because of the quota available to the least developed countries like Bangladesh. Now the trade ties with this important country of SAARC family is in danger zone and there is a dire need to alleviate the concerns or misunderstanding of the Bangladesh so that Pakistan could capture the potential of huge market for trade. To a question, the official said that total trade volume of Bangladesh is US $55.61 billion and trade balance is US $- 7.89 billion. In contrast to Pakistan the economy of Bangladesh is mainly driven by the services sector which account for 52.9% in the overall GDP composition, followed by Industry which shared 27.8% in the GDP and agriculture is the third composition of GDP with share of 18.4%. Major industries of Bangladesh are cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertiliser, light engineering, and sugar. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh is not only very small but also has been growing very slowly over the past years. During the eleven-year period between 2000-01 and 2010-11, Pakistan export to Bangladesh grew at an average annual rate of 27.6 percent and imports from Bangladesh grew at the rate of 9.2 percent. The total value of trade (export plus import) between the two countries in 2010-11 was about $983 million, FBR added. The official said that the total volume of trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh stood around US $1 billion during the fiscal year 2010-2011. Pakistan exports to Bangladesh during the fiscal years 2010-2011 stood US $908 million while imports from Bangladesh were to the tune of US $75 million. Hence the trade tilts in favour of Pakistan. To give a boost to bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh both countries have decided to finalise a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Bangladesh hopes to reduce trade gap through this agreement.