Six months after the formation of the Bangladesh-Turkey Business Forum (BTBF), the founders have decided to set up a formal organisation to better serve the objectives of the forum, reports UNB.
With the support of the Turkish Embassy, the Forum was formalised as a trust to protect and promote Turkish and Bangladeshi commercial interests through a trade and investment-focused approach and activities.
In June 2022, the Turkish Embassy initiated the formation of BTBF to further develop bilateral trade, investments and cultural encounters and act as an advocacy platform promoting bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Turkey.
Led by Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group and vice-chancellor of Asian University for Women and Salahuddin Kasem Khan, chairman, EC of Board, AK Khan and Co, the BTBF now includes 12 Bangladeshi conglomerates and four Turkish companies.
As of now, the founding trustees of the BTBF are founding chairperson Rubana Huq, founding co-chairperson Salahuddin Kasem Khan, trustee and founding deputy chairperson Kazi Zahedul Hasan, founder and managing director of Kazi Farms Group, BTBF trustee and founding secretary Ercument Polat, CEO of United Aygaz LPG, Enayetullah Khan, founder and managing director of Cosmos Group, Hakan Altinisik, director of technology and innovation of Arcelik, Mehmet Yidiz, administrative and financial specialist of NKY Architects and Engineers, and Ozgur Turk, country director of LCWaikiki.
The other BTBF founding trustees are Anjan Chowdhury, key stakeholder of Square Group, Moinuddin Hasan Rashid, chairman and managing director of United Group, SK Nasir Uddin, chairman of Akij Group, Alihussain Akberali, chairman of BSRM, Mirza Salman Ispahani, chairman of MM Ispahani, Abul Khair Litu, chairman of Bengal Group and founder of Bengal Foundation, Simeen Rahman, group CEO of Transcom Group, and Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh.
On 17 January, 2023, the BTBF office was inaugurated at Marina Mansion in Gulshan-2 in Dhaka followed by a press conference organised at the Turkish Embassy Residence to launch the BTBF Trust.
As one of the core objectives of the BTBF is to promote and highlight the shared historical and cultural values of Bangladesh and Turkey, the official launch of the BTBF was preceded by a classical music recital by the scholars of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalaya.
After the recital, Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan addressed the guests and the media, followed by remarks from Salauddin, Ercüment, Rubana and Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman.
During their meeting on 7 February, the BTBF trustees decided to make an in-kind contribution to the relief efforts for the victims of the 6 February earthquakes in Turkey. The BTBF is planning to visit Turkey in September 2023.