MetLife, one of the world’s leading financial services companies, has announced the appointment of Muhammad Ala Uddin Ahmad as General Manager of its Bangladesh business.
He succeeds Syed Hammadul Karim who retired in December 2020 after a distinguished 33-year career with MetLife, according to a press release received on Saturday.
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A Fellow Chartered Accountant, Ala Ahmad has more than 21 years of life insurance experience.
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He has held a variety of senior country and regional leadership roles in MetLife including Chief Financial Officer for South Asia, General Manager for Nepal, Head of Strategy, Business Planning and Transformation for MetLife’s joint venture in Malaysia - AmMetLife, and most recently, General Manager for Hong Kong.
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Islami Bank Bangladesh has appointed Mohammed Monirul Moula as its managing director and chief executive officer (CEO).
Monirul, who has been an additional managing director of the bank, will assume the office on 1 January 2021.
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He joined Islami Bank in 1986 as a probationary officer and served it in different capacities.
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The banker earned a master of social science degree in economics from the University of Chittagong.
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Monirul, also a Diplomaed Associate of the Institute of Bankers Bangladesh, joined several programmes of national and international professional organisations as a resource person.
The U.S. said it will ban all shipments of palm oil from one of the world’s biggest producers after finding indicators of forced labor and other abuses on plantations that feed into the supply chains of some of America’s most famous food and cosmetic companies.
The order against Malaysian-owned Sime Darby Plantation Berhad and its local subsidiaries, joint ventures and affiliates followed an intensive months-long investigation by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade, said Ana Hinojosa, one of the agency’s executive directors, reports AP.
Hinojosa said the investigation “reasonably indicates” abuses against workers that included physical and sexual violence, restriction of movement, intimidation and threats, debt bondage, withholding of wages and excessive overtime. Some of the problems appeared to be systemic, occurring on numerous plantations, which stretch across wide swaths of the country, she said.
“Importers should know that there are reputational, financial and legal risks associated with importing goods made by forced labor into the United States,” Hinojosa said in a telephone press briefing.
The order was announced just three months after the federal government slapped the same ban on another Malaysian palm oil giant, FGV Holdings Berhad -- the first palm oil company ever targeted by Customs over concerns about forced labor. The U.S. imported $410 million of crude palm oil from Malaysia in fiscal year 2020, representing a third of the total value shipped in.
The bans, triggered by petitions filed by non-profit groups and a law firm, came in the wake of an in-depth investigation by The Associated Press into labor abuses on plantations in Malaysia and neighboring Indonesia, which together produce about 85% of the $65 billion supply of the world’s most consumed vegetable oil. Palm oil can be found in roughly half the products on supermarket shelves and in most cosmetic brands. It’s in paints, plywood, pesticides, animal feed, biofuels and even hand sanitizer.
The AP interviewed more than 130 current and former workers from two dozen palm oil companies, including Sime Darby, for its investigation. Reporters found everything from rape and child labor to trafficking and outright slavery on plantations in both countries.
Earlier this month, 25 Democratic lawmakers from the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee cited AP’s investigation in a letter calling for the government to come down harder on the palm oil industry in Malaysia and Indonesia, asking Customs and Border Protection if it had considered a blanket ban on imports from those countries.
“In our view, these odious labor practices and their pervasive impact across supply chains highlight the need for an aggressive and effective enforcement strategy,” the letter said.
Sime Darby, which did not immediately comment, has palm oil plantations covering nearly 1.5 million acres, making it one of Malaysia’s largest producers. It supplies to some of the biggest names in the business, from Cargill to Nestle, Unilever and L’Óreal, according to the companies’ most recently published supplier and palm oil mill lists.
Hinojosa said the agency’s decision to issue the ban should send an “unambiguous” message to the trade community.
“Consumers have a right to know where the palm oil is coming from and the conditions under which that palm oil is produced and what products that particular palm oil is going into,” she said.
Meanwhile, Duncan Jepson of the anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared, which submitted the petition leading to the Sime Darby ban, filed two additional complaints Wednesday — one to the UK’s Home Office, questioning the company’s disclosure about its protection of human rights under the country’s Modern Slavery Act, and the other to the Malaysian stock exchange, regarding the company’s stated commitments to sustainability. Both complaints questioned the accuracy of Sime Darby’s disclosures in light of the CPB’s findings.
Jepson said the U.S. ban also should be a red flag for Asian and Western financial institutions that have helped support the industry, saying ties to forced labor could have serious consequences for banks and lenders.
The U.S. government’s announcement about Sime Darby marked the 14th time this year Customs has issued an order to detain shipments from an array of sectors following similar investigations into forced labor. They include seafood and cotton, along with human hair pieces believed to have been made by persecuted Uighur Muslims in Chinese labor camps.
Under Wednesday’s order, palm oil products or derivatives traceable to Sime Darby will be detained at U.S. ports. Shipments can be exported if the company is unable to prove that the goods were not produced with forced labor.
The 7th International Conference on Networking, Systems and Security was held on a virtual platform recently.
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) arranged the conference where researchers, practitioners, developers, and users from academia, industry, and government exchanged new research ideas and results, said a press release.
The conference invited all the keynote speakers to discuss the recent advances in theoretical and experimental research addressing the rich space of computer networks, networking systems, and security across academia and industry.
It highlighted various topics, including knowledge graph, limitations on malicious secure protocols, cross-layer security of embedded and cyber-physical systems (CPS) in the era of IoT, and machine learning for computer program synthesis.
This was the only conference in Bangladesh having technical co-sponsorship from ACM Chapter and proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.
The three-day conference consists of 21 sessions from numerous speakers from all over the world including the USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. Almost 100 participants have attended the conference, including registered speakers, organizers, and many more.
Jerry Wang Shiwu, Chief Technical Officer, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited, was among the attending speakers. He discussed the ICT sector and the development of digital technologies across the nation.
He said “It is inspiring that Bangladesh is standing on the fast track of ICT Development to adopt innovative digital technologies, and enjoying benefits.”
Ying Ding, Bill & Lewis Suit Professor, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin; Chris Clifton, Professor, Computer Science and Statistics, Purdue University; Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine; Chris Jermaine, Professor, Computer Science, Rice University attended the conference as Keynote speakers.
Syed Rafiul Hussain, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University; Jalal Mahmud, Manager, Speech and NLP Products, Master Inventor, IBM Almaden Research Center; Junaed Sattar, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Minnesota; and Shagufta Mehnaz, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College also spoke at the programme.
Rizwan Rahman, Managing Director of ETBL Securities & Exchange Ltd. has been elected as President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) for the year 2021.
Besides, NKA Mobin, FCS, FCA has been re-elected as the Senior Vice President and Monowar Hossain has been elected as the Vice President for the term 2021, said a press release.
The new Board of Directors took over charge at the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of DCCI held in its Auditorium through Zoom on Tuesday.
The newly elected Directors are Golam Zilani, Hossain A Sikder, Khairul Majid Mahmud, MA Rashid Shah Shamrat and Nasiruddin A Ferdous.
The newly elected President of DCCI Rizwan Rahman, in his wide-ranging business career, heads several segments of ETBL Holdings Ltd., a renowned local conglomerate diversifying from financial services, dredging infrastructure, commodities trade, cold storage, furniture, print media etc.
He is a Director of Eastland Insurance Company Ltd. and the Daily Financial Express.
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He remains engaged with DCCI in different capacities since 2006 to contribute to the private sector development, upon completion of his higher education from the UK.
In the diverse career of Rizwan, he also served as the Director of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI), Bangladesh Philippines Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BPCCI) and as the Former Vice President of Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DBCCI) for the improvement of multilateral trade and investment relation.
Re-elected Senior Vice President NKA Mobin, FCS, FCA is the Managing Director & CEO of Emerging Credit Rating Ltd. and engaged in Credit Rating of Corporate business house, banks and financial Institutions and Insurance business since 2009.
He completed his BBA and MBA in Finance from the University of Dhaka. He completed his triple EMBA from Stockholm Business School, Sweden, National University of Singapore and INSEAD in France. He is currently the Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) and Institute of Chartered Secretaries Bangladesh (ICSB).
He is also one of the Government’s nominated Directors in the Board of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd. since 2016.
He is also a Board member in Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd., Mobil Jamuna Bangladesh Ltd. and Shasha Denims Ltd. His expertise covers top management leadership, financial management and project management skill, ERP solution and Company Secretarial Practices.
Newly elected Vice President Monowar Hossain is the proprietor of Monowar Trading, from Old Dhaka, specialised in export and import with different countries. He is also involved in the business of importing reconditioned vehicles from Japan. He previously served DCCI as the Director for the term 2020. He completed his graduation in Business from Dhaka. Mr. Hossain is also the Member of Uttara Club Ltd.