"Success of businesses can drive the growth of a country, help achieve overall sustainable development and create employment opportunities", mentions the editorial of the current News Bulletin of International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB) released on Sunday.
Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. They have the ability to change the way we live and work at local, national and international levels, the editorial of the bulletin for July-Sept’ 2021 issues also said.
Highlighting the historic background of the country's business and reaching to it's today's position, the editorial further said over the past five decades, Bangladesh, has transformed itself from being a "Basket Case" to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Before the onset of the COVID-19, the economy was growing rapidly, recording an annual expansion in the range of 7- 8% for sometimes.
After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, was not an ideal place for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to do business/establish industries as the West Pakistanis (now Pakistan) were in complete control of the country and the economy. Bangladeshis were mainly in the mid and lower level service.
However, some of our leading businessmen have made it possible to show the world that Bangladeshis are capable of becoming successful entrepreneurs.
There were only a few business entities owned by local entrepreneurs during the British era. Of them the oldest was the family trading business of Late Anwar Hossain (since 1834) and Founding Chairman of Transcom Group Late Latifur Rahman’s family (having a tea estate since 1885).
The change in government policies in mid-70s for adopting privatisation, export liberalisation and import-substitution created the opportunity for enthusiastic businessmen to begin their entrepreneurial journey. ICC Bangladesh President and Chairman & CEO of ETBL Holdings Mahbubur Rahman along with Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman, Square Group Chairman Samson H. Chowhdury, Anwar Group Chairman Anwar Hossain, Apex Group Chairman Syed Manzur Elahi and a few other business leaders contributed towards the change in policy decision of the government; for privatization.
In less than 40 years, the garment industry of the country has emerged as one of the nation's success stories in recent decades. It is the second-largest RMG exporter globally earning over $35 billion a year from exports.
A number of pharmaceutical companies have also started exporting medicines to 119 developed and developing countries.
The country also exports leather products, handicrafts, agro-products, ocean going vessels, software etc.