Mohammad Zahirul Islam alias Dalton Zahir has recently been selected as the co Chairman of the Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). Zahir, also a director of Tourism Developers Association of Bangladesh (TDAB), was elected for the 2023-25 term, said a press release issued on Thursday. He is the founder and CEO of Traveller Key, Europe Key, Traveller Times, Welcome Bangladesh and World Vacation Club. Zahir worked as Head of Sales and Marketing of BRAC Services Ltd (BSL), the management of BSL said in a statement. Read more: Baklai Waterfall in Bandarban: How to Get to One of the Tallest Waterfalls in Bangladesh He also served at Rose View Hotel, Sylhet. He has 22 years of experience in hospitality, tourism, public relations, media communications, branding, sales, marketing, and operations. He also worked for Grand Sultan Tea Resort and Golf, Ocean Paradise, Lakeshore Hotel, Motorola Mobile, Apple Computer, Philips Mobile, and Fujifilm Digital Camera Distribution for Bangladesh (Jel Corp HQ in Singapore). Zahir, curious about the tourism and hospitality sector, has been working to explore tourism potentials focusing on beautiful Bangladesh for its different places, cultures, and cuisines. His thirst to devise tools and to draw a blueprint to attract tourists makes him dexterous in hospitality and tourism. A travel loving personality, Zahir visited the UK, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Poland , Denmark , Austria , Czech Republic ,Spain, France, Switzerland,Portugal, Netherlands, Malaysia, India , Nepal , Myanmar , China and the UAE. He also participated in various esteemed events like India ’s largest event Travel Tourism Fair, ITB Berlin (World’s largest travel tourism fair in Germany), WTM London (Best World Travel Market, UK) and photo competitions of USA , Germany and France. Read more: Royal Enfield 350: Review of 350cc Motorbikes Coming in Bangladesh He has achieved the membership of the Photographic Society of America. Tourism Developers Association of Bangladesh, Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh, World Travellers Club Ltd. European American Chamber of Commerce of Industry, Pacific Asia Travel Association, New York Chapter USA, member of SKAL Madrid Spain.
The President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mahbubul Alam invited Sri Lankan businessmen and investors to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The FBCCI President made this call during a courtesy meeting with the high commissioner of Sri Lanka in Bangladesh Dharmapala Weerakkody at FBCCI’s Gulshan office on Sunday afternoon. Daraz launches Bangladesh’s first-ever free delivery festival Mahbubul said the government has been establishing 100 special economic zones in Bangladesh with All kinds of facilities including oil, gas, and electricity for the investors. Besides, one-stop service, e-platform, and many other attractive incentives are on offer to facilitate business and investment in Bangladesh. Sri Lankan businessmen can be benefitted by setting up industry here on their own or in joint ventures, he said. Bangladesh’s journey: From ‘basket case’ to aspiring economic powerhouse He said garments, pharmaceuticals, eco-tourism, hospitality, etc. are some of the potential sectors in Bangladesh. If Sri Lankan investors want to invest in Bangladesh, FBCCI will provide all-out support. Speaking at the meeting, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dharmapala Weerakkody said that Sri Lanka has many business entrepreneurs who are interested in doing business in Bangladesh. Huawei offers 3-day free tour to MWC in Barcelona Besides many potential sectors, Sri Lanka receives a large number of tourists from Bangladesh every year. He said it is time to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. FBCCI president praised the Sri Lankan Central Bank's role in overcoming the economic challenges. Commercial Counselor of the Sri Lankan High Commission Srimali Jayarathna, FBCCI Vice-President Shomi Kaiser, Rashadul Hossain Chowdhury (Ronni), Secretary General Md. Alamgir, among others, were present at the meeting.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (January 21, 2024) inaugurated the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) at Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BBCFEC) at Purbachal. Five foreign countries -- Turkey, India, Pakistan, Singapore and Iran -- alongside local companies are taking part in the 28th edition of the fair where exhibitors will showcase products. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, is also participating in it. The Prime Minister also declared Handicrafts Products as the product of the year for 2024. State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mahbubul Alam and vice-chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) AHM Ahsan were also present on dais. Read: 4 Bangladeshi businesses participate in Mandalay International Trade Fair The fair will continue from January 21 to February 20. The Ministry of Commerce and the EPB have been organising trade fairs since 1995. The DITF usually commences on 1 January each year. However, the EPB postponed the fair due to the 12th national elections held on January 7. The trade fair will run from 10 am to 9 pm daily and to 10 pm on weekends. The entry fee is Tk 50 for adults and Tk 25 for children. Freedom fighters and the physically challenged people need no fee. BRTC buses have been arranged from Farmgate and Kuril Biswa Road to the fair premises for the convenience of general visitors. Read: BGMEA, Oxfam discuss ways to collaborate with buyers to make trade fairer A total of 330 stalls have been allotted along with 23 pavilions and 27 mini pavilions. There will also be 15 food stalls of different categories which can accommodate up to 500 people. There are also a prayer room, children's playground, media corner, office rooms, medical rooms, guest-rooms for officials, and stores. The parking area can provide facilities for 500 vehicles. Read more: Month-long trade fair in Chattogram kicks off today
The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex organization of businessmen, has requested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to extend the deadline for submission of income tax returns. The federation in a letter to the NBR Chairman said that due to the late publication of income tax circulars in line with the new Income Tax Act 2023, the businessmen are not prepared to submit returns. Read: FBCCI urges political parties to avoid violence for economy's sake So, the deadline for filing returns need be extended until December 31 this year. The letter said due to the current political situation and upcoming parliamentary elections, many taxpayers may be able to file income tax returns by November 30. Some other business chambers have also requested the NBR to extend the tax return submission deadline. Read: FBCCI emphasises signing FTA between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia The Dhaka Taxes Bar Association has demanded an extension of the return submission deadline by another two months.
The nationwide blockades for the past few days have dealt a severe blow to the business landscape of Bangladesh, leaving wholesale markets desolate and causing a week-long economic slump. The impact has spread over areas like New Market, Chandni Market, Eastern Plaza, Elephant Road, Farmgate, Gulistan Market, Shantinagar, Kakrail, Mouchak Market, Rampura-Badda, Mirpur, Dhanmondi, Gulshan-Banani, and Uttara in Dhaka. Nawabpur, Chawkbazar, Islampur, Babubazar, Shankharibazar, Moulvibazar, and Bangabazar, also witnessed a decline in trade activities. Economy buffeted by political unrest amid declining forex reserves: Analysts Dewan Aminul Islam, President of Dhaka New Market Traders’ Association, said that sales were very low during the blockade. “There are no buyers. Small traders are suffering more. If the blockade continues, then we will be the most affected,” he said. Employees at Olympia Bakeryshop in the Baitul Mukarram area similarly report a decline in sales. They have resorted to a shift toward alternative sales strategies within familiar networks. Sabuj, a tea vendor at Paltan intersection, said his shop faced a significant contraction in sales over the past week. “I make TK10-12,000 per day. Now it’s Tk2-3,000," he said. Uncertainty, tension grip students, parents amid raging political crisis Farooq Hasan, President of BGMEA, told UNB “The sector was already suffering from a shortage of buyers in the international market. Now, due to internal political instability, we have to face a more difficult situation. As a result, not only the export sector will be affected, but the entire economy of the country will be affected. It will also affect the reserves.” Mohammad Hatem, Executive President of BKMEA, expressed concern over escalating losses among traders. “The internal transportation of goods has been severely impeded. Industrial production witnessed a decline.Export sector is especially vulnerable to the ongoing blockade,” he said. The Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) President, Abdus Salam Murshedi, told UNB that due to the blockade, businesses cannot collect the raw materials stuck at various ports due to the transportation crisis. Mahbubul Alam, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), called for a collective reconsideration of the ongoing strike blockade. With economic diversification, transformation, Bangladesh holds potential to achieve more: Swiss Ambassador Reto Renggli “Such programs, if prolonged, may lead to a standstill in the wheels of the economy,” he said. On October 29, a hartal was observed across the country called by BNP and other like-minded opposition parties. After the three-day blockade on October 31, the blockade continued on November 5 and 6, and after the two-day blockade, it continued on November 8 and 9 with a one-day break.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has emphasised signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. The point was raised in a meeting of the FBCCI delegation held with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia on Monday. At this time, FBCCI raised the need to sign an FTA for the sake of expanding trade between the two countries. FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam said business and trade patterns are changing all over the world. Along with that, new challenges are coming up. Bangladeshi businesses would take advantage of South Korea's preferential trade policy, ambassador hopes “After graduation from LDC by 2026, Bangladesh will also face several challenges. In such a situation, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia should take the initiative to sign an FTA now to take advantage of the integrated supply chain and meet the challenges of the future,” he added. Referring to Saudi Arabia as one of Bangladesh's labour force export destinations, the FBCCI president said Saudi Arabia has currently taken strong steps in high-tech infrastructure development and industrial diversification. At this point, they will need a hugely skilled workforce. Meanwhile, Bangladesh is now experiencing the benefits of the "demographic dividend". That is, the country has a large number of active, experienced, and skilled young manpower in science and technology. BGMEA President clarifies media report on ‘apparel ban’ He urged the Saudi government to expand employment opportunities for skilled young workers in Bangladesh in various sectors. It was informed in the meeting that Saudi Arabia has investment potential in several sectors, including environment-friendly energy, infrastructure, car parts, chemicals, food processing, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics in Bangladesh. At this time, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry assured Bangladesh of its cooperation in the development of port management. Sri Lanka's central bank governor reflects on keeping economy afloat during year of turmoil Besides, they will help in organising the Branding Bangladesh Expo to introduce Bangladeshi products in Saudi Arabia, they said.FBCCI Vice President Md Khairul Huda Chapal, Md. Rashedul Hossain Chowdhury Roni, Md. Munir Hossain, directors Habib Ullah Don, Hasina Newaz, Khandaker Ruhul Amin, Munal Mahbub, Md. Ali Hossain Shishir, Md. Enayet Ullah, BM Soheb, Sahidul Haque Molla, Fakhrus Salehin Nahian, Salma Hossain, Md. Amir Hossain Noorani, Md. Faizur Rahman Bhuiyan, and Syed Mohammad Bakhtiar, among others, were present.
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