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Top trade body offers to end confrontational politics

 

Concerned about the current political situation, the business community will take the initiative to hold dialogues between the government and the main opposition BNP.

The decision came from a meeting of the country’s apex trade body, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), held at its office in the capital yesterday.

The FBCCI called the general meeting to discuss the current business and political situations as frequent shutdowns have been hampering business activities across the country.

“We will form a committee soon to initiate dialogues with the government and the BNP to put an end to the shutdowns,” FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed told The Daily Star by phone after the meeting.

He said another committee, formed during the tenure of the immediate past FBCCI president, will also work to hold dialogues between the two sides in parliament.

He said the business community will welcome it if the two general secretaries of ruling Awami League and the BNP, who have recently underlined the need for bilateral discussions to resolve the present political crisis, start dialogues between them.

The attendees of the meeting expressed concern over the current political situation.

“I hope leaders of both the parties will listen to us now, when our economy is growing,” the FBCCI boss said. “If we do not have a congenial business atmosphere, we will lose our competitiveness to neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar.”

The FBCCI also met at a city hotel last week when the opposition enforced hartals for three days in a row.

During the last week’s hartals, almost all business entities were affected as the production and transport of goods were seriously hampered.

Garment makers faced trouble as they could not make shipments in time due to the hartals.

Local companies could not distribute goods during the shutdowns, which disrupted the supply chain and thereby affected the prices of essentials.

In the emergency meeting, all the 48 directors of the trade body expressed concern about their sectors. The attendees said every sector has been affected for the shutdowns.

Jamaat-e-Islami called hartals for two days when its Nayeb-e-Ameer Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death.

Later BNP, the political ally of Jamaat, also called a hartal for Tuesday protesting the killing of some supporters of Jamaat.

 

Source: The Daily Star

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