Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is the apex body of the business community safeguarding the interest of the private sector in trade and industry in Bangladesh. Established in 1973 under the Trade Organisations Ordinance 1961 (amended in 1994) and companies act 1913 (amended in 1994), FBBCI has three types of members, namely, (1) Chambers of Commerce and Industry (A Class Chamber and B Class Chamber), (2) Trade and Industrial Associations (A Class Association and B Class Association) and (3) Joint Chamber (with Foreign Countries). At present there are 369-member organisation, of which 70 (A Class Chamber 38 and B Class Chamber 32) belong to the Chambers of Commerce and Industry category, 283 (A Class Association 277 B Class Association 6) belongs to Trade and Industrial Association and the remaining 16 to the Joint Chamber (with Foreign Countries) category. A 44 member executive committee or board of directors, elected for a term of 2 years by direct vote of members of all three categories conducts the activities of FBCCI. The Chambers of Commerce and Industry elects the president and vice-president, as well as 20 members of the executive committee. The other 21 members are elected from the category of Trade and Industry Associations. FBCCI has 44 permanent standing committees formed by the board to assist and advise the board in dealing with specific issues and areas of trade and industry.

FBCCI represents the private sector in various committees of the government and autonomous bodies. FBCCI assists the organisations of chambers and associations throughout the country to protect their interests. It helps and stimulates investment and development of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, tourism, human resources and communication sectors in Bangladesh. It also projects, encourages and safeguards the cause of the private sector through effective participation in the process of consultation and inter-action with the government, ministerial consultative committees and other inter-ministerial bodies and agencies; assists the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Associations in organising of trade and industry fairs in different parts of Bangladesh; makes efforts for the spread of commercial, technical and economic knowledge for promotion of commercial, technical, industrial and scientific education in the country and undertakes' research on major policy issues for promotion and growth of trade and industry.

FBCCI collects and disseminates statistical and other information for advancement of trade and industry. It organises training, seminars and workshops on trade, commerce and industry and co-operates in settlement of trade disputes through conciliation, negotiation and arbitration. FBCCI is involved in forging strong bilateral ties between and among different countries of the world through counterpart organisations for commercial and economic cooperation. It helps promote foreign direct investment (FDI) including joint ventures in Bangladesh and identify appropriate partners. It maintains close relation with Overseas National Chambers of Commerce and other Trade and Industrial Associations including related economic organisations. FBCCI plays the pivotal role in consultative and advisory capacity in formulation of commercial, industrial and fiscal policies at the national level. It has been playing a very vital role in all forums of the government and economic development organisations for mutual sharing of views on all vital issues concerning and affecting the national economy.

It maintains close relations with overseas national chambers of commerce and other trade and industrial associations. FBCCI is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). FBCCI maintains close communication with these international organisations to safeguard and protect the interest of business community in the international arena.

The FBCCI has joint chamber/co-operation agreements with the national trade organisations of Australia, Belgium, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The Federation has also collaboration agreements with the national chambers of 16 countries and the General Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture of Arab countries, Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mizoram Chamber of Commerce of India, Kunming Chamber of Commerce and Industry of China and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Singapore. The FBCCI has also established a joint chamber viz, Bangladesh India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BICCI) in cooperation with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and signed an agreement of understanding with the United States Bangladesh Business Council (USBBC). [Muhammad Abdul Mazid]