The 12th Annual Conference and AGM of IBFB was held on 24 May 2017 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon.
H. E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh spoke at the Opening Session of the event as the Chief Guest.
Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, Former Governor, Bangladesh Bank and Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Immediate Past President of FBCCI were present on the occasion as Special Guests.
Mr. Hafizur Rahman Khan, President, IBFB was presided over the conference.
H. E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh praised that Bangladesh has made remarkable progress, especially in the areas of economic growth and trade. He stated that during the visit of Bangladesh PM in India all the impediments towards the bi-lateral relation has been overcome. He uttered although having non tariff barriers 21 Bangladeshi products get duty free access in India. The High Commissioner said India already invested $3 billion in Bangladesh and plans to invest additional $10 billion in the days to come. He uttered that geopolitically Bangladesh is very important and has much potentiality to connect South and South-east Asia. Mr. Shringla was speaking as the Chief Guest in the 12th Annual Conference and AGM of IBFB held on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. He also praised the works of IBFB to improve business environment in the country.
Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank uttered as a special guest that South Asia is now search for growth, prosperity and development . He said India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, China and Bhutan can build a strong multilateral relation in the Bay of Bengal region and utilize the benefit of blue economy. He anticipated that by 2025 Bangladesh will enjoy double GDP growth and it will attain 40% Tax-GDP ratio. Dr. Farashuddin emphasized for a drastically simplified taxation system in Bangladesh which will facilitate the business environment as a whole. He also uttered for a strong BIDA and BSTI for boost trade and investment. Finally he said IBFB can carry out more research on emerging business and economic issues to advance a prosperous Bangladesh.
Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Immediate Past President of FBCCI spoke as the Special Guest at the annual conference of IBFB. He mentioned, IBFB as a nonprofit organization making profit for the business community by conducting demand driven research and advocacy program. He said in front of Indian High Commissioner that India Bangladesh’s economic and political relationship was never been high as today. Bangladesh is getting 100% duty free access in India. We are looking for a relation with no trade barriers and duty, he added. He praised that Indian investors are coming up in Bangladesh and also setting up business in joint venture I Bangladesh. He specially highlighted the accomplishments of IBFB which greatly impacted the businesses and economy of the country. Mr. Matlub emphasized on more new market and more new diversified products where IBFB can conduct more research to promote business growth of Bangladesh.
Mr. Hafizur Rahman Khan, President of IBFB chaired the conference. While delivering his opening remarks, the IBFB President said in order to establish a business friendly environment in the country IBFB carried out nearly 30 research and advocacy works in last 12 years on different crosscutting business and economic issues like One Stop Service Act, Overseas Investment by Bangladeshi Entrepreneurs, Shipbuilding Industry, City governance, Complexities in Income Tax Laws and its simplification etc. Mr. Khan remarked that IBFB exchanged several business delegations in different countries like Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, USA, Korea etc. to explore business opportunities and enhance bilateral business relationships. The IBFB president said the country could achieve 7.11 percent GDP growth in FY 2015-16. There is no doubt that the private sector has significant contribution to such economic advancement of Bangladesh, where IBFB, as a nationwide trade body working for creating an enabling business environment and private sector development.
The IBFB chief mentioned that the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh have reached to beyond expectation in present days. The Indian automobile companies like Hero, Bajaj, TVS, Tata, Eicher etc. are leading the market (in terms of market share) in Bangladesh. Lastly the IBFB President specified that, India exports to Bangladesh more than 250 items, whereas Bangladesh is exporting only six to seven items including jute, jute goods and readymade garments. He requested the Indian High Commissioner to take proactive measures to minimize trade deficits, reduce non-tariff barriers, and enhance bilateral trade relationship between these countries for attaining the next level of excellence.
Among others, Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France; Lauren S. Arce, Ambassador of Philippines; Tran Bao Son, Third Secretary of Vietnam Embassy; Mosurai Mesn, High Comissioner of Brunei; Anug Myint, CDA of Myanmer Embassy; Kunzang N. Tshering, Director BIMSTEC; G. M. Qader, Vice Chairman of Jatiyo Party; Mr. Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, Founding President, Mr. Md. Omar Shafayat Kausar, Vice President and Mr. Humayun Rashid, Vice President (Finance), Mr. S. M. Abu Tayyab, President, Chittagong Chapter of IBFB; Dr. Mozibur Rahman, Director IBFB were also present at the event.
It may be mentioned that Hon’ble President, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh; Finance Minister; Commerce Minister; Industry Minister; and Economic Advisor to the Prime provided message on the occasion of IBFB annual conference and AGM of 2016 and wished the event to be a grand success.