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Forex law to touch foreigners

The Foreign Exchange and Securities Regulation Act of 1947 was amended in 1976 and 2003.  Although the changes made the law precise in respect of Bangladeshi citizens, ambiguities persisted when it came to foreigners residing in the country.  The new Bill says the fresh amendments will make the law applicable to Bangladesh nationals and foreigners alike.
If needed, they will enable the “government and the Bangladesh Bank to seek information from foreign nationals living in the country about the foreign exchange and foreign securities held by them as well as about their immovable and other property”.

Amendment has defined such terms as ‘currency’. ‘securities’, ‘exchange’, ‘account’, transaction’, ‘services’, ‘capital account transaction’, and ‘goods’.  Muhith said the amendment aimed at making the law suitable to the needs of the times.  He said an increase in foreign investments and expansion of international trade had necessitated the changes.  Without the amendments, Bangladesh would run into difficulties in matters of foreign investments and international trade, he said.

The proposed Bill has done away with the provision of Bangladesh Bank clearance for seeking licence to serve as an ‘agent’ in business transactions.  Foreign establishments wishing to open their branches or liaison offices in the country would not have to give prior information to the Bangladesh Bank any more.  The Bill says they can start work with the sanction of the board but would have to inform the central bank within a month, agencies report.

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