The consulate general of Bangladesh, in collaboration with Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), organised ‘Bangladesh-Canada Business Forum-2019’ in Toronto for the first time on Tuesday.
A 19-member Bangladesh business delegation led by commerce minister Tipu Munshi took part in the programme which included high level deliberations, presentations and two panel discussions and a valedictory session.
The theme of the first panel was ‘How Canada enhances business and investment with Bangladesh’. It was moderated by Syed Sadat Almas Kabir, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). The second panel was moderated by Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of OCC.
The Business Forum marked signing of a MoU between the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and OCC.
Minister of economic development, job creation and trade of Ontario Victor Fedeli, who was the guest of honour at the Forum, stressed deeper engagement with Bangladesh.
The Ontario trade minister said the priority of Ontario province is to generate mass employment for which it has opened its economy to foreign entrepreneurs where Bangladesh can mark its strong foothold.
Fedeli said signing of the MoU between the two chambers is an unprecedented occasion and demonstrates strong partnership between two countries to speed up further trade and investment.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi said the essence of this forum is to build business links so that entrepreneurs and businessmen from both the business hubs can partner and work in tandem to enhance trade and investment.
He said this first ever business forum with Canada has provided a unique platform for the business leaders and entrepreneurs to exchange their views and ideas on sector specific comparative advantages in investment, trade promotion and win-win business.
He mentioned that this first ever business forum is a steppingstone to a new height in business relations with Canada. He particularly thanked the consulate general of Bangladesh in Toronto for organising such an effective business forum within the five months of opening of the mission in Toronto.
He expected that the flow of such business forum with other provinces of Canada would continue. Commerce minister Tipu vowed to stand by each other to forge mutually beneficial collaboration and investment.
Consul general of Bangladesh in Toronto Nayem Uddin Ahmed said they seized the opportunity to advance economic diplomacy based on the directives of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
In the welcome remarks, Rossi thanked the business leaders from both Bangladesh and Canada for their spontaneous participation in the Forum, noting that Canada and Bangladesh have a lot to offer each other.
He said both countries are gaining importance as each other’s trade and investment partner. Bangladesh is increasingly making inroads in the Canadian market with non-conventional products.
Bangladesh high commissioner to Canada Mizanur Rahman hoped that the forum would continue in the coming years and there will be regular exchanges of business delegations. Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, chairman NBR, Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman, BEZA, Corinne Petrisor, Counsellor of Canadian high commission in Dhaka, Abdul Malik, director of Steel Canada Limited, Louie DiPalma, vice president of OCC were present at the Forum as distinguished panelists.