Businesses want Sheikh Hasina as prime minister for next term

DHAKA, Top business leaders and entrepreneurs across the political divides today said they want to see Sheikh Hasina as the prime minister of the country for next term again, terming her as the 'symbol of hope' for the entire business community and common people as well for the country's thriving growth.

The business leaders said this at a Business Conference organized by Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BCCI) here today to express support to the leadership of Sheikh Hasina in future.

Top business entrepreneurs, CEOs, managing directors of manufacturing industries and exportimport enterprises, leaders of steel industries, service oriented organizations, power sector and ICT and leaders of trade bodies joined the conference.

We want continuation of the policy and functioning of the regulatory body consistently and predictably to take forward the country to that level that we are dreaming for, Shafiul Alam Mohiuddin, president of the apex body of the country's business and commerce said.

Business community wants a leader who have vision, courage, cooperation and whose doors are always open for them, he said, adding that Sheikh Hasina is the last resort to resolve any problem of industries, owners and workers and she stands as the guardian for development.

They extended their full support to the 'zero tolerance' policy of Sheikh Hasina to corruption, urging her to give punishment if there is any 'black sheep' in the business community.

PM's advisor on private enterprises and chairman of Beximco Group Salman F Rahman said the business community is very much grateful to the Prime Minister as she extended cooperation to every business person irrespective of their political affiliation to do business freely over the last 10 years.

Sheikh Hasina never considered which businessperson is Awami League or nonAwami League. Many big deals were held in the country in the last ten years. But none can say they had to face interference of any entity like 'Hawa Bhaban' or give any bribe for doing business, he said.

A video documentary on the development of various sectors and mega projects undertaken by the present government was screened at the programme that began with playing of the national anthem.

Responding to the expectation of the business leaders, the prime minister said it is the responsibility of the government to create a congenial atmosphere for the business. The government will not do business but create atmosphere for development of industries, trade and commerce, she said.

Laying importance on maintaining peace and stability in the country, she said business can thrive amidst a peaceful atmosphere.

The government went for dialogue with the political parties to hold the coming election in a peaceful situation, she said, seeking support of everybody to maintain peace ahead of the election.

Sheikh Hasina said she has no desire to come to power by any means. The party which will get public support will come to power. Awami League will come to power again if it gets the peoples' mandate, otherwise not, she said.

I want peace and the people to exercise their franchise in a peaceful atmosphere to choose their government. The country would certainly move ahead if peace prevails in society, she said.

The prime minister, however, laid importance on continuation of the government, saying her government has embarked on massive development works in every sector. Continuation of the present government is very crucial to continue the existing business atmosphere.

Construction of the Padma Bridge, nuclear power plant, Karnaphuli tunnel as well as other projects have been taken for socioeconomic development of country, she said, adding that addressing the adverse effect of climate change and poverty alleviation are also crucial tasks.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has established good relations and road connectivity with the neighbouring countries. Rohingyas were given shelter on humanitarian ground and discussions are going on to resolve the crisis through negotiation, she added. Pointing out her government's initiative to settle the dispute on maritime boundaries with Myanmar and India, the prime minister said her government has also successfully implemented the land boundary agreement with India.

Sheikh Hasina said the people of Bangladesh now get special honour in the world as the citizens of a developing country. We hope that the people will continue to get the honour in future, she added.

President of International Chamber Commerce (ICC) Mahbubur Rahman, noted women entrepreneur and advisor of former caretaker government Rokeya Afzal Rahman, president of MCCI Nihad Kabir, former president of FBCCI Mir Nasir Hossain, BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman, chairman of PHP Group Sufi Md. Mizanur Rahman, chairman of INCEPTA Abdul Muktadir, chairman of ACT Ltd. Anis Ud Dowla, CEO of Grameen Phone Michael Patrick Foley, managing director of Microsoft, Bangladesh Sonia Bashir Kabir, chairman of City Group Fazlur Rahman, president of BASIS Syd Almas Kabir, President of PICARD BD. Ltd Saiful Islam, president of DCCI Abul Kashem Khan, chairman of Basundhara Group Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, managing director of Berger Paint Bd. Ltd Rupali Chowdhury, MD of Mohammadi Group Rubana Huq, chairman of Envoy Group Eng. Kutub Uddin Ahmed, Tipu Munsi, MP, president of BKMEA AKM Selim Osman, chairman of Islam group Atiqul Islam, chairman of HaMeem Group AK Azad chairman of BSRM Steel Ali Hossain Akbar FCA and former president of DCCI Anwarul Alam Pervez spoke, among others, on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)