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Jashim Uddin Appointed as New SAARC Chamber President

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Jashim Uddin, the current President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), has been elected as the new President of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation – SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

The SCCI serves as the apex trade body for the South Asian region. Jashim Uddin will assume the presidency for the term of 2023-2024, succeeding Pakistan’s Iftikhar Ali Malik, who held the position from June 2020 to May 2023. The official handover ceremony is scheduled to take place in Dhaka, as announced in a press release.

Traditionally, the President of the SCCI is elected from the eight SAARC member countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, every two years. Jashim Uddin will join the ranks of the previous two Bangladeshi Presidents, Salman F Rahman (1996-1997) and Anisul Huq (2010-2011).

Born on January 1, 1965, in Sonaimury, Noakhali, Bangladesh, Jashim Uddin hails from a respected business family. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Dhaka in 1986. Following his graduation, Uddin embarked on his professional journey by becoming a Director at the Board of Bengal Group of Industries in 1983. The Bengal Group is a diversified conglomerate involved in various sectors such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy.

Currently, Jashim Uddin holds prominent positions in several organizations. He serves as the Chairman of Bengal Commercial Bank Limited and Desh General Insurance Limited. Additionally, he holds the Vice-Chairman role on the Board of Directors of the Bengal Group of Industries and Bengal Media Corporation (RTV). Jashim Uddin’s leadership is widely recognized within the business community of Bangladesh, where he also holds the presidency of the FBCCI, the country’s apex trade body. Moreover, he leads the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Jashim Uddin’s contributions to the business community and the economy of Bangladesh have garnered numerous accolades and awards. His outstanding achievements include being honored as a Commercially Important Person (CIP) and receiving the Best Enterprise Award multiple times. Notably, he has been awarded the “Prime Minister’s National Export Trophy-Gold” on several occasions for his valuable contributions to the country’s economy. Jashim Uddin has also been the recipient of the “President Industrial Development Award-2009” and the “Best Enterprise Award-2007.”

With his extensive experience and expertise, Jashim Uddin is poised to lead the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and further promote regional cooperation and economic development among the South Asian nations.

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Major American Corporations Eye Investments in Bangladesh: State Minister

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State Minister Ahsanul Islam

State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu announced on Tuesday (May 28) that major American conglomerates, including Amazon, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Boeing, are showing keen interest in investing in Bangladesh.

“We are working to streamline the investment process for American companies, ensuring they can operate smoothly without any obstacles,” State Minister Titu told reporters following a meeting with a delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at the Ministry of Commerce.

The minister highlighted that the discussion focused on simplifying investment procedures and removing any barriers that might deter new American companies from entering the Bangladeshi market.

A representative from Amazon attended the meeting, where discussions centered on the potential for Amazon to integrate Bangladeshi products into its global supply chain and enhance the local e-commerce infrastructure. “Amazon is looking into establishing a central warehouse in Bangladesh to facilitate regional and international product distribution,” Titu added.

The US delegation also explored opportunities in energy, digital payments, and startup sectors.

Titu outlined the primary goals of the United States-Bangladesh Business Council: improving market access for Bangladeshi products, facilitating US investments in Bangladesh, and strengthening bilateral relations. These efforts align with the government’s Smart Bangladesh strategy aimed at strategic growth.

Addressing concerns about some American companies withdrawing their investments from Bangladesh’s capital market, Titu emphasized the importance of welcoming international conglomerates. “If Facebook, Amazon, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Boeing become involved in Bangladesh’s business landscape, it will significantly ease the country’s progress,” he stated.

Titu also mentioned Bangladesh’s scheduled graduation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) category in 2026 and stressed the importance of securing market access in various countries within the next two years.

He assured that the government is committed to attracting international investors through policy support, emphasizing Bangladesh’s potential as a significant market with a stable government expected for the next five years.

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Bond Market Reforms Key to Investment Growth: Salman F Rahman

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salman f rahman

Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman today underscored the need to bolster the country’s capital market to secure funding for investors.

“Globally, the capital market is the primary source for raising finance for investors. However, in our country, businessmen typically rely on bank loans for mid-term investments or expansion. We are working towards improving the bond market,” he stated.

Salman made these remarks following a meeting with an executive business delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Bhaban in the city, sources said.

The meeting was attended by Board Chair of the US-Bangladesh Business Council and President and CEO of Excelerate Energy, Steven Kobos, along with President of the US-Bangladesh Business Council and South Asian Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador (ret) Atul Keshap, among others.

Speaking to reporters, Salman mentioned the government’s efforts to safeguard the capital market from manipulation. “Share prices depend on the market. The government never interferes in this regard. The primary role of the government is monitoring,” he added.

He also highlighted the importance of institutional investors in strengthening the country’s capital market.

Moreover, Salman noted that US entrepreneurs have shown increased interest in investing in Bangladesh, recognizing the current government’s various development initiatives.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Seeks U.S. Business Support for ‘Smart Bangladesh’ Vision

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called on U.S. businessmen to support Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a developed and smart nation by 2041. Addressing a delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at her official residence in Ganabhaban, she emphasized the importance of their partnership in this transformative journey.

“We aim to become a ‘Smart Nation’ by 2041. Your support in enhancing our global competitiveness and expanding our export base is crucial,” she said.

The Prime Minister highlighted Bangladesh’s imminent graduation from a “least developed” to a “developing” country in 2026, attributing this progress to sustained efforts over the last 15 years. “Our efforts have led to Bangladesh being recognized globally as a ‘Role Model of Socio-Economic Development’,” she stated, citing good governance, the rule of law, rural investment, women’s empowerment, and ICT advancements as key factors.

Sheikh Hasina noted the longstanding economic and developmental partnership with the U.S., which is Bangladesh’s largest export destination and source of foreign direct investment. She expressed optimism about further strengthening this relationship.

“To protect our economy from current pressures, investment—both domestic and foreign—is vital. The implementation of Bida’s One Stop Service (OSS) will facilitate this,” she said, addressing the OSS implementation progress review meeting at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority’s (Bida) headquarters.

She urged the U.S. business community to invest in Bangladesh’s high-potential sectors, including renewable energy, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, and ICT. “We are establishing 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 28 hi-tech parks, making Bangladesh a prime destination for IT investments,” she added.

Highlighting Bangladesh’s competitive advantages, she mentioned the availability of a young, skilled workforce at competitive wages and the country’s liberal investment policy. She reassured investors of the government’s commitment to improving the investment environment.

In response to the Prime Minister’s address, Bida Executive Member Mohsina Yasmin presented a report on OSS progress, while NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem assured the business community of considering logical amendments to the Customs Act.

Sheikh Hasina underscored Bangladesh’s significant socio-economic achievements, including reduced poverty rates, increased life expectancy, and higher literacy rates, particularly among women. She noted that Bangladesh is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, projected to be the 25th largest by 2030.

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