Businessmen and entrepreneurs have demanded further simplification of port management to expand exports and increase competitiveness. They made this demand yesterday (February 10, 2024) at the first meeting of the FBCCI Standing Committee on Port and Shipping on Sunday morning.
The committee members who participated in the meeting said that due to the ongoing global crisis, the cost of doing business in the country has increased significantly. As a result, local entrepreneurs are lagging in the competition in the international market. In such a situation, it is important to reduce the complexity of import-export of goods or raw materials.
According to them, increasing container handling capacity at Chittagong and Mongla ports and other ports, removal of jetty restrictions, installation of heavy lifts, removal of complications related to customs and HS code, reduction of shipping time (lead time) of export products, increase of testing lab capacity at ports, unnecessary clearance of containers. The export sector will benefit if the levy is stopped.
Tarfdar Mohammad Ruhul Amin, the chairman of the committee, said that the businessmen and entrepreneurs of the country should be kept alive to achieve the target of a dollar economy in the future. The existing problems in the import-export of products and raw materials should be solved quickly.
AM Mahbub Chowdhury, Director of FBCCI and Director of the Standing Committee on Port and Shipping, seeks specific opinions and advice from the committee members to solve the existing problems in product transportation, shipping, and customs.
Senior Vice President of FBCCI said in the speech of the chief guest at that meeting. Amin Helali said, there are 8 to 10 stakeholders in the port and shipping sector. He urged to take coordinated initiatives by reviewing the problems of all parties and making specific recommendations.
Mohammad Amin Helali urged to submit the opinions discussed in the meeting in written form to FBCCI. He also assured that FBCCI will discuss these problems with the government and related authorities.
Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Standing Committee on Exports was held at FBCCI in the afternoon. Where the businessmen and entrepreneurs demanded to reduce the dollar price disparity in the country's market.
They said, in the case of traveling abroad as an exporter, a dollar can be bought for a maximum of 110 Taka or 110 Taka 50 paise, but in the case of importing various machinery including raw materials, an exporter has to multiply 120 taka to 122 taka against each dollar. Which is discrimination.
FBCCI president Mahbubul Alam said that this standing committee on exports can play an important role in dealing with the current dollar crisis. He also said that he assured that FBCCI will provide all kinds of support for the diversification and expansion of exports, including solving the problems of entrepreneurs in the field of exports.
Business leaders fear that the export sector will face losses if the incentives given to export-oriented industries including ready-made garments are stopped.
Chairman of the committee Mehdi Ali presided over this meeting on export matters. He said business is shifting across the world due to geopolitical reasons. Bangladesh needs to take appropriate steps now to utilize this opportunity.
FBCCI Director Syed Mohammad Bakhtiar, Port and Shipping Standing Committee Co-Chairman Ahmed Sakhawat Salim Chowdhury, FBCCI Director and Export Standing Committee Director-in-Charge Salma Hossain Ash, FBCCI Secretary General Mohammad Alamgir, committee members, business leaders and others were also present in the two meetings.