Along with Dutch Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry six bilateral business chambers released a joint press release on May 18, 2013 at a MEET THE PRESS event in a five star hotel in Dhaka.
The press release states:
The foreign and joint business chambers of Bangladesh are non-political institutions and our aim is to promote the bilateral trade relations and support foreign direct investment (fdi). According to the constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, strikes (“hartals”) are a fundamental right. However, the business chambers agreed unanimously that any violence in the name of strike is not acceptable. The business chambers are pleased that Bangladesh is by constitution a secular country. Unfortunately, the political turmoil is harming the business and investment potential and the image of the country.
Among the Chambers, Shahzada Hamid, President, Dutch-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry); Sakhawat Abu Khair, President, Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI); Syed Nurul Islam, President, Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI); Arild Klokkerhaug, Founding President, Nordic Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NCCI); Hiroyuki Watabe, Vice President, Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JBCCI); and Humayun Rashid, President, France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIFB) were present.
The speakers said at the event that the recent developments in Bangladesh were harming the business and investment potentials and the image of the country. They said the strikes are discouraging the foreign investors and this would ultimately have a severe effect on the economy of the country. H.E Dr. Albrecht Conze, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh; Carel Richter, Charge de Affairs of the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and Hiroyuki Minami, Minister and DCM of the Embassy of Japan was present at the event. The German Ambassador said in his speech that the reaction in Europe is enormous. The country should take proper measures to face this image crisis. In his speech, Carel Richter said, the growth of Bangladesh is declining in many sectors. He urged that Europe would like to buy more from Bangladesh if there are successful efforts of reversing current situation.
A question and answer session was followed by the press briefing. Daniel Seidl, executive director of BGCCI emceed the event.