Dhaka, Tuesday, 04 August 2020

Need to find opportunity in another alliance outside of SAARC for trade : Sheikh Fazle Fahim 

2019-12-05
Need to find opportunity in another alliance outside of SAARC for trade : Sheikh Fazle Fahim 

Apparel Correspondent : A joint conference of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) was held at the Sonargaon Hotel in the capital Dhaka last Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two-day CCCI summit was attended by leading chambers of commerce and top business leaders, economists, policy makers and more than 300 business representatives from 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific. Australia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Nepal, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States were the guests.

At the time of asking about what Bangladesh got from the conference, FBCCI President Sheikh FazleFahim said “ The progress of economy of Bangladesh has recognised at various government levels in the world last six years. But the private sector is not that well-informed. FBCCI is affiliated with 5 business organizations of different countries of the world. FBCCI is also a member of CCCI. We want to increase the activities of the FBCCI in these organizations. I try to tell them about Bangladesh whenever I get a chance. We have a shortage of organizing business conferences with multiple countries. The conference is aimed at that goal. Representatives of some countries did not want to come to Bangladesh. Because their country has issued travel alerts on Bangladesh for their’s citizens. Then We said them that the Korean Prime Minister is coming, the World Bank-chief is coming, delegations from different countries are coming; There is no reason for the chamber leaders not to come in Bangladesh.”
Fazle Fahim said “Traders from different countries have shown interest in Bangladesh. Many of those who did not know about Bangladesh so much. After Arriving in this country what they see was beyond experience for many of them. But now they have shown their great interest in the economic progress and situation of Bangladesh. They think b that there is a business opportunity in Bangladesh. We think such that summit or connection increases awareness. The conference will raise awareness about Bangladesh. Investment and trade opportunities will increase. ”
Fazle Fahim said that next year D-8 (Alliance for developing countries) chamber conference will be held in Dhaka. In addition, we’ll propose to organize a Commonwealth Asia Business Forum in Dhaka next year. China is planning to hold a South-Asia Business Forum on Bangladesh in Kunming. Bangladesh is working on a plan for the Bangladesh Expo in December of next year. In addition to the conventional products of Bangladesh, non-conventional products will be highlighted. Foreign traders will be brought there.
Responding to a question as to why the FBCCI had never organized such a conference before, Fazle Fahim said the FBCCI’s job is to expand trade. What the government is doing to expand trade is fine. FBCCI should take the role as well. It is a responsibility for the FBCCI to take forward the small industries, medium industries and medium industries with large industries. That’s why we take those tasks for making connections.
Fazle Fahim said that the capabilities of each country are different. Japanese investors are more likely to invest in energy and infrastructure. Someone from Taiwan is talking about smart agriculture. Korea wants trained nurses. When did I move to Canada three months ago, they wanted nurses too. Each country has different interests. At such conferences we can create business opportunities. We want to add the relevant business associations in these areas. “We hope the agreement would be with the FBCCI,” he said. If we see any lacking of our members, action will be taken accordingly. We want to build the ‘ecosystem’. Suppose, I have negotiated with Canada for nurse training and I have asked to create a trainer in this country. So that the nurses can be trained by our own trainers later. I just suggested a course, not that. ”
About the trade between the CCCI region countries, Fazle Fahim said “Regional trade in South Asia is very low. We are not seeing anything so far as there is anything to expect. But we are working. One of these is a forum where some Indian businessmen and some Bangladeshi businessmen are exploring the potential for investment. There is a possibility with Sri Lanka. The garment sector of Bangladesh can work together with the garment sector of Lanka. High-value garments will be made in Bangladesh and finished in Sri Lanka, thereby we can increase exports. But not just in SAARC, any other alliance like BIMSTEC (regional seven country alliance), BBIN (four country intercommunication initiative), if we have the opportunity to business there, we have to try to capture that.”

Earlier, in the inauguration of the conference, by highlighting the positive trend of Bangladesh’s infrastructure development and growing economic growth, the Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman called Asia-Pacific countries for investment . He said that Bangladesh is now a destination for domestic and foreign investors. The present government under the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a business-friendly government.

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