N Korea still owes Bangladesh $11.62m for goods bought in 1994

North Korea still owes Bangladesh $11.62 million US dollars to North Korea for various items purchased in 1994. The Bangladeshi embassy in Beijing, China contacted the North Korean embassy several times to collect the money, but no response was received.

North Korea imported these products 26 years ago under a barter agreement with Sonali Bank. They owe at least 11.62 million for these products.

Under the Barter 5 agreement, North Korea bought goods worth 6.14 million from Bangladesh but did not pay any price at the time of purchase. The entire arrears of Barter 5 were transferred to Barter 6, which was signed on September 12, 1994, standing at 6..26 million.

Barter's contract expired on March 31, 1995, without any transaction. Since then, the Bangladeshi embassy in Beijing has contacted the North Korea embassy in China several times to settle the arrears. But no response was received. Until 2020, Kim Jong Un's country has not given any answer.

The state-owned Sonali Bank has now sought appropriate intervention from the Financial Institutions Division (FID) to secure the bill through the Commerce Ministry.

Ataur Rahman Pradhan, managing director, and chief executive officer of Sonali Bank, said it was a long-standing incident. At the moment I can't remember this information properly.

However, Sonali Bank and other sources in the Ministry of Commerce said that the first barter agreement between Bangladesh and North Korea was signed on August 12, 1977. Under the agreement, Sonali Bank was nominated to conduct banking activities on behalf of Bangladesh and Foreign Commercial Bank on behalf of North Korea.

After the signing of Barter 7 in 1996, both banks signed an agreement to carry out banking activities on behalf of their respective countries. The interbank agreement included a provision to charge interest at the rate of three months dollar LIBOR.

The products that North Korea imported from Bangladesh under the Barter Agreement were: rice, cement, tea, jute and jute products, urea fertilizer, animal skins, leather goods, soap, detergents, toiletries, and glycerin.

Source: The Business Standards and Defense Research Forum

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