The government today awarded CIP (Commercially Important Persons) cards to 182 businessmen as recognition of their outstanding contribution and performance in export and trade in 2017.
Of the recipients, 136 persons were given the cards in export category and 46 were given the cards in trade category.
The CIP card recipients under the trade category are the winners as ex-officio while the winners under the trade category are the president, vice-presidents and directors of the country’s apex trade body, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
The awardees are from diverse sectors like jute and jute goods, garment and textiles, leather and leather goods, fruits and vegetables, frozen fish, sea foods, processed foods and agricultural food items, software and IT services, home textile, tea, engineering products, ships, yarn and miscellaneous.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi handed over the cards to the awardees at a function held at the InterContinental Hotel in Dhaka jointly organised by the commerce ministry and the Export Promotion Bureau.
Before handing over the cards, Munshi said from the next time the number of award winners will be increased as the government wants to recognise the contribution of the businessmen.
Bangladesh, which started its journey as a garment manufacturing nation in late 1970, now the second largest apparel exporters worldwide, Minister Munshi said. He said the credit goes to the businessmen.
Tofail Ahmed, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on commerce and immediate past commerce minister, said in 1972-73 fiscal year, Bangladesh’s export value was $348million and only three products like jute, leather and tea were main products.
While he was boasting the current economic growth of the country, Ahmed said even after the independence of the country, Bangladesh exported eight million kilogrammes of tea from the total production of 10 million kgs.
However, last year the country produced 85million kgs of tea and all the quantity were consumed locally. Not only the production of this big quantity of tea, in fact Bangladesh had to import a handsome quantity of tea to meet the demand of the domestic markets, he said.
Now, almost 16crore people take tea, which indicates that the country has developed a lot over the years and the businessmen contributed in this development, Ahmed said.