Asia & Africa Committee Meeting
The Asia and Africa Committee held its committee meeting on 1 June. Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan, Managing Director of NewVision Solutions Ltd and Secretary-General of the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, updated members on Bangladesh’s development. He said the country had seen remarkable GDP growth averaging 6% in the past seven years, and had surpassed India in GDP per capita.
Bangladesh is known for its garments industry, which is the second biggest in the world. Bhuiyan said that apart from garments, there were a number of other important sectors in the country, including agro-food processing, light engineering, consumer goods, automobile, financial services, ICT, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and home appliances.
He explained that Bangladesh’s pharmaceuticals industry grew by 11% in the past five years, and although exports stood at US$136 million only, there was vast potential for growth. He added that the country imported US$1.3 billion worth of raw active pharmaceutical ingredients every year, of which 90% originated from China and India.
Speaking on Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector, Bhuiyan said the sector grew at an astonishing 75% per year and its online grocery marketplace had been experiencing double-digit growth in terms of the number of deliveries. Major players such as Uber, Foodpanda and Alibaba have taken a foothold in the country.
Following the presentation, the committee conducted its election. Members elected Jonathan Lamport to be the new Chairman, while Natalia Sukhanova, Andrew Wells and Edmond Yue were elected Vice Chairmen. The outgoing Chairman Nigel Collett congratulated the incoming Chairman and Vice Chairmen, and thanked members for their support during his tenure.
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