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Inflation finally dawns on youth as potato crackers price increased

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For a generation that evaluates the economy based on carbonated drink prices, it took a while for Bangladeshi youth to perceive the true gravity of the ongoing economic inflation. The concerned youth didn’t flinch during the oil price hike or as the dollar market rose higher by the hour. But as it turns out, the price hike of Potato Crackers chips is where they draw the line.

“The first wave started with the increase of the 250 ml Coca-Cola price. It was tough but we had to resort to our last option – Bepis,” says Shadman Sakib, a victim of the recent Potato Crackers crisis, “But what about Potato Crackers? I can’t just replace it with the closest knockoff! It’s potato chips, not my undergrad from Canada where I can just choose the University of Newfoundland if Manitoba’s not an option!”

Unlike the dollar market crisis or oil price hike, the Potato Crackers price hike has affected the privileged classes as well. Panic floods the streets of Gulshan, Banani and the urban and more privileged sections of Uttara. Supermarkets have reportedly run out of stocks of Potato Crackers as victims are fearing prices rising even further in the future.

Bashir Wayne, an eminent icon of the privileged class, expressed his concern, “I’m the least bothered when it comes to money. I don’t get the panic among the peasants regarding the dollar price hike. If things are too expensive for you to buy in taka, just pay in dollars using your father’s credit card. The Bangladeshi currency inflation can’t affect you if you don’t use Bangladeshi currency in the first place! I can’t believe our economists haven’t yet come up with this simple solution.”

“However, the Potato Crackers crisis made me realize that we, as a nation, are in grave danger,” continued Bashir, “Just like my father tries to bypass the taxation policies of our country, I also tried to bypass the crisis and order Potato Crackers on Amazon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available and now I have to live my worst nightmare – pay for something in cash on my own and live like a commoner.”

Acclaimed economist and Nobel laureate Dr. You-Know-Who dissected the financial strategy of our youth, “The panic regarding price hike of Potato Crackers among our youth is equivalent to the panic regarding oil prices among our boomers. While nations evaluate the economy in terms of gold reserves, import-export index or local market prices of commodities, our youth measures it through prices of energy drinks, chips, inflammable death sticks and the availability of vouchers on food delivery apps. For them to understand the gravity of the inflation, we must dumb the economic terms down to their IQ and explain it to them as you’d to a 4-year-old.”

Dr. You-Know-Who’s new book ‘Inflation for the Mentally Inflated’ intends to explain the financial crisis to Bangladeshi youth and create the much-needed panic among them so that they can be more financially responsible, save their money and invest in more fruitful ventures.

 

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Economy

Bangladesh-Qatar Strengthen Ties with 10 Cooperation Deals

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Bangladesh and Qatar signed 10 cooperation documents on Tuesday, including five agreements and five MoUs, aimed at strengthening ties and elevating relations to new heights.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the signing of the documents.

The five agreements cover cooperation in the legal field, promotion and protection of mutual investments, avoidance of double taxation, maritime transport, and the establishment of a Joint Business Council (JBC) between FBCCI & QCCI.

The five MoUs include cooperation in sports and youth, manpower employment (Labour), diplomatic training, education, higher education, scientific research, and between Qatar Ports management Company “MAWANI QATAR” and Chittagong Ports Authority.

Earlier in the morning, PM Hasina warmly welcomed and received Emir Sheikh Tamim at her office.

They had a tête-à-tête meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, followed by a bilateral meeting.

After signing the visitors’ book, the emir headed for Bangabhaban where the president received him.

A high-level Qatari delegation led by Qatar’s emir is on a state visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of the president and the prime minister.

During the ceremony, a road and a park in Dhaka were named after Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

The park, constructed in Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation, and the road from Mirpur ECB point to Kalsi Fly Over were named after Emir of Qatar.

Now, the road and park are known as Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Avenue and Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Park.

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FBCCI Pushes for SME Participation in Global Trade Fairs

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The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) is urging for greater involvement of marginal, small, and medium enterprises in international trade fairs. This initiative aims to spotlight Bangladesh’s promising products on the global market.

FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam made the call during the first meeting of the organisation’s Standing Committee on National and International Trade Fairs and Foreign Delegations. He emphasised the need to provide marginal, small, and medium enterprises with the space and resources to effectively display their products at these events.

“The participation of marginal, small, and medium enterprises is crucial at both national and international levels,” Mahbubul Alam said. “This will allow us to export Bangladesh’s promising products and open new markets.”

The FBCCI president informed that his organisation is actively discussing and collaborating with the government to make this a reality. He also proposed organising roadshows in neighbouring countries and Europe to revive the country’s handicraft industry and increase export opportunities for these products.

Standing Committee Chairman Nuruzzaman echoed Mahbubul Alam’s sentiments, highlighting Bangladesh’s vast potential and young population. “We need to move beyond the garment sector and focus on product diversification and market creation,” Nuruzzaman said.

Achieving this, he acknowledged, will require close collaboration with the Export Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.

FBCCI Senior Vice President Md Amin Helaly pledged the organisation’s support in facilitating increased exports through participation in foreign trade fairs. He stressed, however, the importance of raising awareness among Bangladeshis about the country’s diverse and promising products.

The meeting concluded with an open discussion where participants expressed keen interest in organising and participating in various sectoral fairs, both domestically and internationally, under the FBCCI’s umbrella.

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Ambassador Imran: Legal Remittance Key to Bangladesh’s Growth

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Bangladesh’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Muhammad Imran, has urged Bangladeshi expatriates to send remittances through legal channels to further strengthen the country’s economy. He also encouraged them to showcase the country’s success stories to enhance its image abroad.

Speaking as the chief guest at the Customers’ Gathering and SECI App Campaign of Sonali Exchange at the Bangabandhu Auditorium of the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC on Friday evening, Ambassador Imran emphasized the importance of sending remittances legally.

The event, jointly organized by the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC and Sonali Exchange, a subsidiary company of Sonali Bank, aimed to raise awareness about sending remittances to Bangladesh through legal channels.

Sonali Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director, Md. Afzal Karim, attended the event as a special guest, while Devasree Mitra, CEO of Sonali Exchange Company Incorporation, USA, delivered the welcome address.

Ambassador Imran highlighted Bangladesh’s significant progress across all sectors over the past decade and a half under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He emphasized the positive achievements and changes that have occurred in the country during this period.

Imran stressed the importance of sharing Bangladesh’s success stories globally, believing that doing so would elevate the country’s stature on the international stage. He noted Bangladesh’s victorious history, achieved through the Liberation War under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangabandhu’s vision of establishing “Sonar Bangla” (Golden Bengal) free from hunger and poverty remains a driving force for the nation, Imran stated, expressing confidence that Bangladesh is steadily progressing towards this goal.

The event saw participation from a large number of expatriate Bangladeshis residing in Washington DC and its neighboring states. Counsellor and Head of Chancery Shamima Yeasmin Smrite conducted the proceedings.

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