Businesses have sought the US dollar at a fixed rate for import LCs and not to increase the interest rate by much, to maintain a sustainable business environment in the country. The president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mahbubbul Alam on Monday placed these requests to Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Abdur Rouf Taluder, during a meeting between the two. FBCCI leader Jibon Deb Nath obtains D.Litt degree from France’s Thames International University “We met with the central bank governor with a delegation of top businessmen and expressed our concern on the important issues on behalf of the country’s business community,” the FBCCI president told UNB after the meeting. He said many traders have to open Letters of credit (LCs) buying dollars at a higher price than the fixed rate, which impacts import of goods. The BB’s governor has been requested not to increase the interest rate of bank loans by large margins as the businesses are already facing difficulties in the depreciation of domestic currency taka, Mahbub said. The governor assured the businesses that the interest is now fixed according to the smart rate, there is no option to increase the interest rate to an abnormal level in the current system, the meeting sources said. In the new system, the lending rate for banks will be determined at SMART (six-month moving average interest rate) plus a margin of up to 3 percent. FBCCI president says they are against dishonest businessmen The SMART reference lending rate would be fixed on the basis of the 182-day treasury bills and announced on the first working day of each month. The central bank controls the interest rates of T-bills and T-bonds. Referring to the system the FBCCI president said, "We are very concerned about the rising interest rate and sought cooperation from the Bangladesh Bank so that it does not increase too much." He said businesses are finding it difficult to open letters of credit (LCs) as they are not getting the dollar at Tk 110, a rate fixed by the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA) and the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB). Japan wants to increase investment in Bangladesh: Japanese envoy told FBCCI Although a number of importers are getting the dollar at the fixed rate, many others are being compelled to cough up an additional amount to open the LCs, the FBCCI alleged. Executive Director and spokesperson of BB Md Mezbaul Haque said businessmen expressed their concerns about the interest rate. The governor assured them that the interest would not rise much, he added.
Businesses should get opportunities to turn around before wholesale declaration of loan defaulters: FBCCI President
Mahbubul Alam, the new president of the country’s apex trade body, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), has already written to Bangladesh Bank asking for opportunities for businesses struggling to pay instalments against loans to turn around their fortunes before declaring them as loan defaulters. He also believes heightened inflation is a global issue, rather than unique to Bangladesh, as prices of daily essentials and energy prices have witnessed spikes across the world, including the USA and Europe. Bangladesh is trying to curb inflation, but the global supply chain disruption creates crises on the supply side, which is the cause of the price hike in some cases, he pointed out. Talking to UNB, Mahbubul Alam gave his opinions on different issues including inflation, the dollar crisis, export diversification, and the challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Read: Mahbubul Alam takes charge as FBCCI president Alam was elected as the new president of the FBCCI as a leader of the Sammilito Oikko Parishad, for the 2023-25 tenure. The election was held on July 31 and he took charge as president on August 14. He also serves as President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI). Beyond his business acumen, Mahbubul Alam has received recognition in the form of CIP (Trade) and CIP (Industry) Awards from the Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh. He is also a committed philanthropist, contributing to various social causes. Internationally, he is the recipient of a "Certificate of Merit" from the World Customs Organization. Alam said in the present economic reality, suppose an entrepreneur has 12 factories; among them one or two will have fallen into problems, but the other 10 would be running well. In this situation, if the business group was declared as defaulter, the entrepreneur would not run the other factories, and a large number of employees would lose their jobs. Read: Large defaulted loans have distressed domestic economy: Experts He acknowledged that in the last two years, a huge volume of loans went into default as many businessmen are not paying their instalments. The FBCCI president said, the federation (FBCCI) has already written a letter to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to not declare any company as defaulter without understanding the reality. He suggested running the factories as an option to get a return. He opposed wholesale declaration of loan defaulters rather than giving opportunities to improve. Alam agreed that the businessmen have to return the loan money, otherwise the banks will be in trouble. Regarding the dollar crisis, the FBCCI president emphasised enhancing remittance earnings by sending more skilled human resources abroad, along with the unskilled manpower already being sent. Read more: Banks’ chief executives must bear responsibility to control defaulted loans: BB Governor He also urged the government to develop a system through which remittances could be sent easily to Bangladesh using legal channels from the Middle East and other areas of the world. Alam, the owner of Chattogram-based M/S Alam Trading, also emphasised enhancing the capacity of foreign missions of Bangladesh so that those missions can arrange trade fairs to display different traditions and non-traditional products as part of the export diversification campaign. Regarding SDG achievement, the FBCCI president said the capacity of domestic businesses must increase to compete with global manufacturers in the age of free trade. Alam said, “Despite different types of obstacles and unfavourable environment, the entrepreneurs of Bangladesh have survived and continued running their businesses even during the Covid-19 pandemic period.” Read more: BGMEA delegation meets Investment Board Chairman of Kurdistan regional government to discuss investment opportunities The FBCCI president emphasised massive research and innovation activities involving youths for Bangladeshi companies to cope with the requirements of the 4th Industrial Revolution, However, he doesn’t buy into the hype that Artificial Intelligence or machine learning will affect employment in Bangladesh, as he believes many jobs still exist that require a human hand. The FBCCI president also focused on increasing domestic rearing of chicken, pigeons, cows, and goats which will help to meet a large portion of the consumption demand for eggs, milk, and meat. It is not possible to supply readymade products, eggs, meat, milk, and other essential items to everyone, he said. Some people have to develop self-dependency when it comes to agricultural items, he pointed out. Read more: BGMEA, Erbil chamber of industry intend to collaborate in promoting bilateral trade
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the country's apex trade body, will vote to elect a new Board of Directors for the term 2023-2025 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center on Monday. This election is called to maintain formality as of the total 80 posts of the directors, 34 (17 from the chamber group and 17 from the association group) - are nominated while the remaining 46 are elected (23 from the chamber group and 23 from the association group). Apart from this, 49 people are contesting as candidates against 23 posts of sector-wise association groups. Out of this, 23 people are contesting as director candidates from the panel of trade unions, 23 from the combined trade union panel, and 3 are contesting as independent candidates. On Monday from 9 am to 4 pm non-stop polling, the votes will be counted and the names of the elected will be announced on that day. Elections for the posts of FBCCI President, Senior Vice-President, and six Vice-Presidents will be held on August 2, 2023, by the elected directors. A Matin Chowdhury, Chairman of the Election Board told UNB that all the preparations for the election have been completed. “'Necessary measures have been taken so that everyone can vote properly. We will try our best to complete this election in a fair and happy atmosphere,” he said. Earlier, the FBCCI Election Board informed in the polling instructions that the polling officers will provide only one ballot paper to a voter for voting. No duplicate or extra ballot shall be issued to any voter. FBCCI Board of Directors' poll on July 31, candidates submitting nomination papers “Voter ID card will be kept from the voter at the time of delivery of ballot paper, which will not be returned. A voter can vote for 23 of the candidates mentioned in the ballot paper. If more or less than 23 candidates are voted, the said ballot will be considered invalid,” the election board said. According to the instructions of the Election Board, no one other than the voter will have access to the polling station. No candidate or voter can enter the polling station without the prescribed voter ID card. Candidates cannot campaign and show down within 100 yards of the polling station on polling day. No candidate can give gifts to voters in or around the polling station. Even a candidate or voter cannot carry any type of firearm or any dangerous object in the polling station. FBCCI-HSBC to work together to boost exports between Bangladesh-UK It should be noted that 15 minutes before polling, the transparent ballot box will be opened and displayed in the presence of all the candidates and the ballot box will be sealed and closed. FBCCI and Faction sign MoU to boost research, innovation
The poll to elect the Board of Directors of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) will be held on July 31. On the polling day, the FBCCI members will cast votes in favor of their chosen candidate from 9 am to 4 pm. The names of elected directors will be announced on that day. The election to the posts of FBCCI president, senior vice-president, and six vice-presidents will be held on August 2 by the vote of elected directors for the period of 2023-2025. FBCCI-HSBC to work together to boost exports between Bangladesh-UK The FBCCI election schedule was announced on May 11, 2023. Mahbubur Alam has submitted his nomination papers as the panel leader for the 2023-25 term of the board of directors of the FBCCI. He is the President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry and former Vice President of FBCCI. If Mahbubur Alam is elected as the panel leader, then he will be the next president of the FBCCI. He submitted nomination papers on Saturday (July 1) to the Chamber Bhaban in Motijheel on Saturday. FBCCI and Faction sign MoU to boost research, innovation The chairman of the Election Board A Matin Chowdhury accepted the nomination papers while election board members Shamsul Alam and KMN Manjurul Haque were present at that time. FBCCI president Jasim Uddin, Senior Vice President Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice President MA Momen, Amin Helali, Habib Ullah Don, MA Razzak Khan Raj, Former Senior Vice President Md. Ali, former vice president Helal Uddin, BGMEA president Faruk Hassan and other senior leaders of different associations were present. Policy support needed in budget for import-alternative industry in Bangladesh: FBCCI President tells ERF discussion
FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin said that it is essential to strengthen commercial activities in order to expand trade in non-conventional markets. Md. Jashim Uddin said this during a courtesy meeting with the newly appointed ambassador of Bangladesh to Libya Major General Abul Hasnat Mohammad Khairul Bashar on Wednesday at the FBCCI Icon. FBCCI President said Bangladesh is still lagging behind in expanding trade to other regions of the world outside the conventional markets of Europe and America. Also Read: FBCCI election on July 31 "Initiatives should be taken to capture non-conventional markets like the Middle East, Africa, and Asia," he said. "The global geopolitical context has opened a new door of opportunity for Bangladesh as buyers are moving away from single-market dependence," he added. The FBCCI president said Bangladesh should increase its efficiency in marketing strategy to utilize this potential. Highlighting the potential sectors of the country, Md. Jashim Uddin said that the processed food industry is expanding rapidly. Also Read: Working to reduce gender inequality in workplace: FBCCI "Besides this, Pharmaceuticals, electronic products, light engineering, leather and leather goods, ceramics, and plastic products have huge potential," he said.He urged the ambassador of Bangladesh to Libya to take initiatives in expanding the market of these products in Libya. Ambassador Major General Abul Hasnat Mohammad Khairul Bashar said, "The security situation in Libya is gradually improving. So there is scope for Bangladesh to work again with Libya in several sectors." The embassy will work on exporting skilled manpower to Libya, he added. FBCCI Vice President Md. Habib Ullah Dawn, Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Ambassador Mosud Mannan, and others were present at the meeting.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has announced Tk 1 crore donation for the rehabilitation of traders affected by recent fire at Bangabazar Market. FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin made the announcement while visiting Bangabazar area this afternoon. Also read: Bangabazar businessmen disagreed on future plans for the site He also urged all in the country's business sector to come forward and stand beside the traders and shop owners affected by the fire that burned down Bangabazar Market.
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 11, 2023) asked the business community leaders to find ways to bring commodity prices to a normal level. “Considering public suffering, the business community leaders will have to find ways to bring prices of essentials to a normal level. Otherwise, you will lose your markets,” she said. The premier said this while inaugurating Bangladesh Business Summit-2023 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city. Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), in partnership with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce Ministry and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), is arranging the three-day summit. Read More: If people don’t buy in excess, there will be no price hike of essentials ahead of Ramadan: Tipu Munshi Sheikh Hasina said people are going through a very difficult time due to high prices of essentials and inflationary pressure. She said developing countries like Bangladesh as well as developed countries are facing severe problems due to price hike of essentials and high inflation caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, economic sanctions and counter-sanctions following the Covid-19 pandemic. Ministers from seven countries including the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China, Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates, CEOs of 12 multinational companies, and more than 200 foreign investors and business leaders from 17 countries are participating in the business summit. Read more: 'Business Summit to help brand Bangladesh's identity, manufacturing prowess to foreign investors' Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, PM's Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-kassabi, Bhutanese Minister of Commerce and Employment Karma Dorjia and Deputy Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Xiangchen Zhang spoke at the opening function, while FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin delivered the welcome speech. The Business Summit is being organized as a part of the FBCCI's 50th founding anniversary celebrations with the aim of creating new opportunities for trade and investment by showcasing the country's economic potential before a global audience. The Business Summit will showcase dynamic investment opportunities and improvements to the local business climate while also giving insights into investment priorities of global investors to improve policymaking. Read more: PM to inaugurate Bangladesh Business Summit on Saturday
Former Vice President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI) Abu Alam Chowdhury died at a hospital in the capital on Monday. He was 75. The eminent businessman breathed his last around 11 pm. Namaz-e-Janaza of the deceased will be held on Wednesday at Nikunj-1 Jame Masjid after Zohar prayers. FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin has expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of Abu Alam. In a condolence message, Jashim Uddin said the FBCCI will always remember his contributions to the business community. The FBCCI President prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family. Alam was born on 30th September ,1948 in a respectable Muslim family in Chittagong district. He did his Masters in Political Science from the University of Chittagong. He played a commendable role in the great 69 movements against the Pakistani rulers, said the FBCCI. During his studentship at Chittagong University, Alam was elected as cultural secretary and later served as general secretary of Chittagong University Central Students Union (CUCSU) and participated in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. After completing his education, he started his business career in the media sector. Chowdhury served as Vice-President of FBCCI and Director for 6 terms covering 12 years in the apex trade body . Also Read: Raise awareness about intellectual property : FBCCI He also served as Vice-President of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) from 2008-2010. He was a founding member of the Daily Financial Express, a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh, and a former EC member of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Bangladesh Business Summit, 2023 will be held in Dhaka in March, aiming to attract global investment in the country. The Business Summit-2023 will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on March 11–13. The government will organize the event in cooperation with FBCCI, marking 50 years of the apex trade body. The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in a press conference in a city hotel on Saturday disclosed the details of the event. Speaking at the press conference FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin said the federation currently has 412 product-based trade organizations, 87 chambers at district and metropolitan levels, 18 chambers for women entrepreneurship and 20 bilateral chambers. "Our economy was $90 billion in 2008, which is $470 billion today. We are going to organize a three-day Bangladesh Business Summit from March 11 to 13 to accelerate the country's economic progress," he added. He said three plenary sessions, 13 parallel sessions, open discussions etc. will be organized with traders, investors, analysts and policy makers to find out the country's trade and investment opportunities, obstacles and ways to overcome. Jasim Uddin said ministers from 12 to 15 countries will participate in this international conference. Besides, representatives of large companies from different countries of the world will also participate. The FBCCI President said the best of Bangladesh Expo will be organized along with the Business Summit. The potential sectors of the country including itextiles, agro-processed food, leather, ceramics, jute will be presented to the foreign investors in this exhibition. Jasim said Bangladesh Business Excellence Award will be given to entrepreneurs for their special contribution to the development of the country's economy and trade. A special jury board consisting of economists, journalists and businessmen has been formed for this special award.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, who is on a two-day bilateral visit to Eswatini, the southern African country formerly known as Swaziland, had a meeting with Business Eswatini representatives in Mbabane Tuesday. Business Eswatini is the federation of chambers of commerce and industry of Eswatini as well as the federation of the employers association of Eswatini – a bit like Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Employers Federation rolled into one. The apex chamber represents agriculture, textiles, mining, financial services and other business bodies. The Bangladesh state minister urged Business Eswatini to develop relations with their Bangladeshi counterparts. Citing Bangladesh as a very suitable destination for business and investment, Alam mentioned the growing purchasing power of Bangladeshi consumers as well as the rapidly growing middle class in the country. He referred to the various industries like textiles, pharmaceuticals and other sectors where cooperation may be forged. Both sides recognised the role of business women in the economic sectors and agreed to establish exchanges between women entrepreneurs. The CEO of Business Eswatini, Nathi Dlamini, invited Bangladeshi businessmen to do business as well as to invest in Eswatini, saying the country is a stable one with a skilled labour force. He also presented a draft MoU to the Bangladesh side for consideration of the FBCCI. Also, the chamber suggested establishing joint ventures between Bangladesh and Eswatini entrepreneurs. Read more: FBCCI to host Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 from March 11 to 13