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176 businessmen recognised as CIP

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi hands over CIP cards to the recipients

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 21 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
176 businessmen recognised as CIP
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi speaks at an Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) event to distribute CIP cards at a city hotel on Thursday.

The government honoured 176 businessmen with Commercially Important Person (CIP) cards for the year 2018 recognising their contribution to exports and trade.

Of them, 138 businessmen received CIP cards for their outstanding export performance in 18 sectors.

Besides, 38 directors of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) got CIP cards in trade category.

After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) formally distributed CIP cards at an event in Dhaka on Thursday.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi distributed the cards among the recipients as the chief guest.

On December 08, 2021 the Ministry of Commerce announced the names for the CIP cards 2018 through a gazette notification.

“We take pride in today’s development of the country and LDC graduation. But the contribution of the country’s businessmen in reaching today’s position cannot be denied,” said Tipu Munshi.

The highest number of card recipients was from the knitwear sector as 41 businessmen from this segment got CIP cards.

This was followed by 23 persons each from woven garment sector and miscellaneous products sector.

Also, seven businessmen from frozen foods and six businessmen from agro-based products segment received the CIP recognition.

Five entrepreneurs each from leather goods, handicrafts and textile (fabrics) sectors was awarded the CIP status.  Four businessmen from agro-processing sector, three each from jute goods and home textile products also received the cards.

In selecting recipients, the issues that were taken into account include export earnings, exports of new products and access to new markets, duties and tax payment records and loan transactions, among others.   According to the gazette notification, the CIPs will be able to use the cards as passes to enter the Bangladesh secretariat.

They will also get a letter of introduction from the foreign ministry to get visas.

The CIP card holders will enjoy various facilities including priority in seat reservation at government transports in air, road, rail and waterways and getting invitation at national events.

Tipu Munshi urged the businessmen to get prepared for more competitive global market after LDC graduation.

He said. “The commerce ministry is trying to sign bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with some important countries to enhance the country’s competitiveness.” 

He informed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also directed him to showcase promising local products and focus on product diversification. The minister sought businessmen’s cooperation in achieving the $80 billion export target by 2024.

Tipu Munshi hoped that the target can be achieved given the current export trends.

He said the product diversification in RMG sector and shift of some orders from China and Vietnam can help to this end.

Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said, “There is nothing to be worried much about loss of exports after LDC graduation. Bangladesh’s exports rebounded sharply in the last six months.”

The prime minister’s courageous and far-sighted steps towards providing incentives to keep export sector afloat immediately after the pandemic has started yielding results now, he observed.

According to the commerce secretary, the main strength of Bangladesh economy is its large chunk of local entrepreneurs while Viet Nam’s most export earnings come from foreign direct investment (FDI).

FBCCI president Jashim Uddin suggested searching out alternative options to protect local industries during the post-LDC period as the current practices won’t be effective anymore.