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Bangladesh business leaders call for end to political unrest

Publication Date : 03-05-2012


Bangladesh’s top business leaders on Wednesday planned to meet political leaders soon to urge them to shun destructive political programmes, as frequent shutdowns are hurting the economy.

The business leaders will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia, said a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the country's apex trade body.

The decision was taken at a meeting of former FBCCI presidents at a hotel in Dhaka, the capital, where the organisation's incumbent president was also present.

They reviewed the ongoing political turmoil in the country and discussed the future of businesses under the circumstances.

"We have a plan to hold such a meeting in a broader scale next week involving other business forums and business leaders. The discussion of the group is still at a preliminary stage," an ex-president of FBCCI said after the meeting requesting anonymity.

He said they recently held two other meetings to discuss the present political situation.

Business activities are being hampered due to frequent hartals imposed by the opposition BNP, he added.

The BNP imposed a series of hartals since its leader M. Ilias Ali had disappeared around midnight on April 17.

Mahbubur Rahman, Salman F. Rahman, Abul Kashem, Akram Hossain, Mir Nasir Hossin, and Annisul Huq were present at the meeting among other former FBCCI presidents.

Two other former presidents of the organisation – Abdul Awal Mintoo and Akteruzzaman Chowdhury Babu – were not present as they are currently abroad, said a former president.

When contacted over the phone, incumbent FBCCI chief AK Azad said the group will meet again soon to discuss the country's political and economic situation.

"We met as the political situation of the country has been deteriorating gradually. But the discussion is still at a very preliminary stage, it has not taken any concrete shape yet," said another former FBCCI president Mir Nasir Hossain.


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