Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh visits MCCI Gulshan Office
The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, visited the Gulshan office of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in Dhaka on Wednesday, says a press release.
The Ambassador was warmly received by a team from the members of the MCCI’s Board of Directors led by its President Md. Saiful Islam. The other members of the team were Senior Vice President Kamran T. Rahman, Vice President Habibullah N. Karim, members of the Board of Directors Anis A. Khan, Syed Tareque Md. Ali and Secretary-General and CEO Farooq Ahmed.
The President thanked the Ambassador and deeply appreciated the role and contribution of the EU in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh. MCCI President categorically mentioned the benefits received by Bangladesh through the EU’s EBA (Everything But Arms) programme which has significantly helped the country to reduce poverty, strengthen women empowerment and make visible progress in social development.
Highlighting the excitement of LDC graduation, MCCI President also mentioned the challenges of the graduation and Bangladesh’s joining the club of Middle Income Country (MIC) by 2026. President expressed his concerns of tariff escalation after the graduation, and requested for extended transitional support and continuation of the EBA for a reasonable period in order to attain a sustainable graduation.
MCCI further mentioned Bangladesh’s commitment on the EU road map concerning labour standards and workers’ rights. It was also assured that amendment of labour laws, rules including addressing concerns of the EPZ law have been a continuous process and Bangladesh is steadfast in taking correct steps on all relevant issues. MCCI team discussed EU’s possible engagement with service sector in Bangladesh. Bangladesh possesses a huge pool of IT professionals and many of the EU member countries could tap into this resource pool for mutual benefit especially for emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence and internet of things.
The Ambassador was very receptive and keen to deeply interact on all issues of mutual interest. He also emphasized on the capacity building of public, private, civil society organizations which will be needed for maintaining sustainability of the LDC graduation process. He assured that EU would look into the concerns very pragmatically. The Ambassador praised Bangladesh’s economic transformation and its high-quality exportable products to the region.
The EU Ambassador mentioned that there were untapped areas of cooperation where many of the member countries of EU might be able to collaborate on rendering technical support like renewable energy, skills development, up-skilling and re-skilling, some special programmes for high tech jobs etc.
The Ambassador expressed his willingness to promote EU investment in Bangladesh and was ready to provide feedback and assistance in improving Bangladesh’s business climate. The Ambassador assured of EU’s continued support and assistance to Bangladesh’s developmental pursuits and sustainable LDC-graduation.
MCCI President handed over a few recent publications of MCCI including Bangladesh Business Climate Index, a very recent publication which will be helpful to assess current business situation in the country and will also promote the ‘ease of doing businesses’.
Finally both sides unanimously agreed to have more frequent interactions and exchange views on a regular basis.