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ICCB calls for good governance to ensure international compliance

ICCB calls for good governance to ensure international compliance

Staff Correspondent

International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh (ICCB) President Mahbubur Rahman has said graduation to middle-income country will require Bangladesh to fulfill a number of international compliances.

"Therefore, good governance must also be addressed in both the public and the private sector, which is still far below the global indexes," he said while presenting the Executive Board Report at it’s 28th Annual Council held in Dhaka on Saturday.

Rahman said Bangladesh is now on track for graduating from the least developed country status in 2026.

In order to achieve this, he said, the country needs to maintain a GDP growth rate of over 8% and increase its per capita income to around $13,000 from $2,824 now in less than two decades to reach the milestones.

Rahman mentioned while chasing big dreams, there are also mega challenges.

Bangladesh made a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic supported by prudent macroeconomic policies. But, the economy now faces considerable challenges with global economic uncertainty, he noted.

The Executive Board suggested to addresses some key issues for overcoming the challenges.

In order to contain the inflationary pressure there should be appropriate monetary and fiscal policies, Rahman said.

Increasing dependence on imported fossil fuels, LNG and coal for power generation has intensified risks, negatively affecting foreign currency reserves and swelling subsidy burdens, he said.

"So, Bangladesh should move faster with its exploration activities both on-shore and off-shore to replace expensive LNG with its own natural gas reserve as well as establish nuclear/renewable energies to avoid adverse affect of climate change," he said.

Rahman said rising commodity prices and a surge in imports resulted in a Balance of Payments (BoP) deficit.

There is an urgent need for Bangladesh to diversify its export market and products, sign FTAs with major Asian countries; Infrastructure : as Bangladesh strives forward, infrastructure will play a crucial role in stimulating and crowding-in private sector investment, he said.

By some estimate, the ICCB President said, Bangladesh will require to make investments of well over $100 billion in the course of the next decade to build ports and roads, set up rail lines for management of goods, establish power-generation & distribution capabilities, provide utilities and services to meet the ever-increasing demands of the economy.

According to BIDS one month extension raises project cost by 0.95 percentage, therefore, it is an urgent need to ensure timely project implementation to save cost as well as time.

The total volume of non-performing loans (NPLs) has increased by more than three times in the last 10 years.

The banking sector needs more stringent lending policies and their enforcement, in order to tackle the problem of NPLs.

The farming sector has individually employed more than 40.6 percent people, either directly or indirectly.

"Climate change is a big challenge, which we are facing and will have to face with the use of new agricultural technologies and adaptability. We must closely follow global adaptation technologies and concentrate more on new examples of climate adaptability which is best suited for us," he said.

Technology is currently used in every facet of life to benefit Bangladesh's digital economy.

"Our nation will become Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Although the human resources in the IT sector are increasing in the country, they need to be developed to be suitable for the industry," he said.

Several studies conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) have revealed a substantial gap in the skill sets of workers in labour-incentive industries such as readymade garments (RMG), light engineering and electronics, leather and footwear, and agro-food processing.

"Enterprises have emphasized the need for demand based educational system and increasing appropriate training activities to minimize these gaps," he said.

The Council approved the Auditor’s Report of 2022 and appointed Auditor for the year 2023.

The Council Meeting was attended, among others, by ICCB Vice President A. K. Azad; Executive Board Members: Kutubuddin Ahmed, Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury (Parvez); Aftab Ul Islam, FCA; Md. Fazlul Hoque & Tapan Chowdhury; Md. Sameer Sattar, President, DCCI; Naser Ezaz Bijoy, President, FICCI; Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, Chairman, ICCB Banking Commission & Vice Chairman, BIAC; ICCB Secretary General Ataur Rahman; Syed Ali Jowher Rizvi, Managing Director, Summit Alliance Port Limited and Bibhabasu Sengupta, Managing Director, Linde Bangladesh Limited.

 

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