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FBCCI chief’s comment on TIFA contested

Financial Express (Dhaka) | 12 February 2010

FBCCI chief’s comment on TIFA contested

FE Report

Manzur Ahmed, chairman of the standing committee of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on WTO affairs, has contradicted the remarks made by FBCCI President Annisul Huq on the contents of TIFA.

His comments came a day after FBCCI President Annisul Huq said that the stakeholders, particularly the country’s business community, know nothing about the contents of the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Dhaka and Washington.

"The views expressed by the FBCCI president, who is also currently the chairman of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, need to be factually clarified," Manzur Ahmed said in a written statement to the FE.

Mr. Ahmed said the FBCCI had several interactions on every aspect of the TIFA, in which its president himself presided. The events received wide coverage in the print media.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Dhaka, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and others also had extensive discussion programmes on the issue, he added.

In a news item published on The Financial Express on February 10, 2010, under the headline ’MoC clueless about TIFA as PMO withholds decision’, Mr Huq said: "Stakeholders particularly the business community knows nothing about the contents of the TIFA agreement."

"We still don’t know the pros and cons of TIFA," the report quoted the federation chief as saying.

Mr Huq continued: "The government should discuss the TIFA issue with the business community as the matter is sensitive."

Manzur Ahmed said the FBCCI secretary general has been a member of the Ministry of Commerce negotiating team since 2005. "Besides, the current text is hardly different from the 2008 text which is freely available on the internet.

 source: FE