German envoy for quick resolution of ‘cargo problem’

Germany’s bar on flying cargo directly from Bangladesh is a problem that needs an early solution, the country’s ambassador has said.  

Published : 28 June 2016, 05:13 PM
Updated : 28 June 2016, 05:13 PM

Ambassador Thomas Prinz was responding to reporters after a meeting with Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Tuesday. 

Australia and Britain imposed bans on air cargo from Bangladesh, citing security arrangements, which, they said, fell short of international standards.

Germany’s civil aviation authorities followed suit voicing similar concerns. Lufthansa in a letter on Sunday informed the decision to Biman Bangladesh, which handles cargo operation at Dhaka airport.

“I cannot comment on this cargo problem because I have not yet seen yet the letter of our federal aviation authority.

“But I know that there is already a delegation from Lufthansa cargo in town today to look into the matter and to find solution for that.”

As Europe’s second top buyer of readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh, business leaders feared Germany’s decision will have an adverse effect on the sector.     

“I don't think that will affect RMG export because main part of the RMG goes through Chittagong harbour to Europe by ship, not by air,” said Prinz.

“Anyway this is a problem, we have to solve very soon.”

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon refuses to see Germany’s decision as prohibition. “They’ve presented some conditions and requested that we follow international standards.”

“Germany’s aviation body has claimed that their intelligence data indicates that bringing in cargo from Bangladesh is risky. But our foreign ministry, civil aviation ministry and authority have not been informed.”

Reporters asked the ambassador if Britain’s decision to exit the European Union will affect the bloc’s trade with Bangladesh. 

“No, it will not be affected due to Brexit. We have contacts between the European Union and Bangladesh. They will not be affected when only one member leaves the European Union.

“Maybe, you have to negotiate with the UK later when they are out of the EU on how to access their market. But at the moment it doesn't affect.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher