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BIDA, LABCCI signed MoU to boost trade and investment

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LABCCi: The Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to boost trade and investment between Bangladesh and Latin America.

Bida Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary) Lokman Hossain Miah attended as the chief guest at the MoU signing ceremony held at the Bida office in the capital on Wednesday (15 March).

LABCCI President Md Anwar Shawkat Afser and Bida Marketing and Communication Executive Member (Additional Secretary) Md Matiur Rahman signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.

At the ceremony, the Brazilian Embassy in Dhaka Commercial Specialist Nahid Ferdousi assured that Brazil is very much interested in tying up with Bangladesh in all aspects.

Md Anwar Shawkat Afser said that a new era has been started by the MoU signing ceremony.

“LABCCI now got the affiliation from the Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh, Bida. Now business societies from Latin American countries may get more confidence to invest and trade in Bangladesh through the collaboration of LABCCI,” he said.

The LABCCI president highlighted the upcoming event “Bangladesh Investment B2B (Business to Business) Event in Latin America 2023” which will be jointly organised by Bida, DBCCI and LABCCI in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil on 6-17 March 2023.

Representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and commerce, Bida, Beza, Hi-Tech Park Authority and high-profile Bangladeshi and European businessmen will participate in the mega event.

Salman Fazlur Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to the prime minister, will lead the delegation in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil.

Bida Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah assured full support for this delegation, saying that the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina created a friendly environment for businessmen as EPZs will provide a safe zone for foreign investors in Bangladesh.

In the last 15 years, Bangladesh’s economy has changed dramatically. People’s incomes have increased and their lives have improved. By 2027, another 3.5 million people will enter the middle class, he added.

“Bangladesh is not only a huge domestic market of 17 crore people, but with proper investment, the consumer market of about 300 crores in South Asia including India and China can be accessed from here,” said the Bida executive chairman, adding that Bangladesh is one of the top safe investment destinations in the world.

He appreciated the LABCCI board of directors for their initiative to attract FDI from the Latin America region as well as from Europe.

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BASIC Bank to Merge with City Bank says Cenbank

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Following the merger of EXIM and Padma, BASIC Bank is now set to merge with City Bank. The decision was reached during a meeting held today (8 April) at the Bangladesh Bank. Sources within the central bank revealed that the merger will be voluntary. This significant decision emerged from a meeting between Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukdar and City Bank’s Chairman Aziz Al Qaiser and Managing Director (MD) Mashrur Arefin.

Previously, on 19 March, the board of City Bank received a recommendation to merge with Basic Bank. Subsequently, discussions ensued between the boards of both City Bank and Basic Bank. Officials from both banks engaged in internal discussions regarding this matter. Despite the merger, sources indicate that the two banks will continue to report separate financials for the next three years.

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IHF Hosts 7th Annual Iftar Event, Fostering Stakeholder-Child Interaction

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It’s Humanity Foundation (IHF) recently held its 7th Annual Iftar event at Aloki, located on the Gulshan – Tejgaon Link Road in Dhaka. This yearly gathering, known as the Annual Iftar event, serves as a significant platform for stakeholders to engage with children, gain insights into their experiences, and deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized communities. The event brought together students from IHF School, sponsor parents, internal and external stakeholders, and well-wishers, all coming together to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.

The event was inaugurated by Md. Adnan Hossain, Founder and Executive Director of IHF, who expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organizations that have supported IHF throughout its journey. Representatives from various organizations also attended, along with notable personalities from the local community. Hossain emphasized the importance of dedication and support in inspiring hope for a better world, stating, “Your actions are changing lives, and together, we can make education a reality for every child.”

Among the esteemed guests were Clinton Pobke & his Spouse, Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission Bangladesh; Md Moinul Huq, Citi Country Officer (CCO) at Citibank NA, Bangladesh; Sabrina Islam, Chairman of SSLCommerz; Dr. David Dowland, Registrar of BRAC University; Shammi Islam Nila, Miss World Bangladesh, and many others. They praised the efforts of IHF and encouraged continued support for the cause.

Ahmed Atifur Rahman, Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank and Advisor of It’s Humanity Foundation, shared his deep connection with the organization’s cause, stating, “Witnessing the progress and impact IHF has made over the years fills me with immense pride. We strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of marginalized communities, and I am honored to be a part of this journey towards positive change.”

The success of the event was made possible through the generous support of various partners, including Aastha Trust, Green Delta Insurance, Uttara Finance and Investments Limited, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Techno Drugs Ltd, RUN Leather, Perfetti Van Melle, Finis, Bengal Express, HER NET, Nestle, Savoy, Limerence Photographs, Holago, and Protibha Flavours.

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Yaana Technologies LLC, Penta Global Forge Strategic Alliance to Create Bangladesh’s First AI Hub

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Yaana Technologies LLC, headquartered in California, USA, and Penta Global Limited of Bangladesh have formed a strategic partnership to establish Bangladesh’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence. This significant collaboration positions Bangladesh as a prominent contender in the global AI arena, fostering pioneering research and development aimed at Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the tech industry.

The partnership appears tailored to crafting AI solutions targeted specifically at Silicon Valley enterprises, indicating a focus on advanced AI applications. Yaana is poised to bring its AI prowess to the table, presumably leveraging its expertise in two innovative concepts that Penta intends to explore. These technological advancements might encompass specialized algorithms, software frameworks, or inventive approaches to AI problem-solving.

Penta, on the other hand, will contribute its expertise and manpower in Large Language Models (LLMs) and Machine Learning (ML), a fundamental AI subfield focused on model training through extensive text and data management techniques, utilizing high-performance computing resources essential for intricate AI models. Collaborating with Yaana, Penta will embark on research endeavors, potentially delving into advancements achieved with Yaana’s innovative concepts and their application to Silicon Valley clientele.

Crucially, Penta will play a pivotal role in refining Yaana’s concepts through the preparation of research papers, model training, and crafting Proof of Concepts for the AI models.

In summary, this partnership has the potential to revolutionize Bangladesh’s AI landscape, ushering in a new era of technological progress and garnering global attention, ultimately fostering a flourishing AI ecosystem.

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