Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said on Thursday that the first task of the new committee would be to help small and medium enterprises affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said this at an introductory meeting of the new committee, which took charge on Wednesday, at the federation building in Motijheel.
Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, senior vice-president of the country's apex trade body, vice-presidents MA Momen, Habib Ullah Don, Amin Helali, Aminul Haque Shamim, and newly elected directors were present on the occasion.
FBCCI's former first vice-president Mohammad Ali and former vice-president Helal Uddin were also present at the meeting.
Jashim Uddin, also chairman of Bengal Bank, said that as part of the cooperation, a link between banks and chambers outside Dhaka would be established to facilitate loan disbursements.
He said that cottage, small and medium enterprises will be connected with commercial banks and the Bangladesh Bank to avail loan facilities from banks on easy terms in collaboration with chambers and sector-based associations.
The new president of the supreme trade body said, at present it is not possible to protect trade and commerce just by reducing taxes or duties.
"We have to work in the same way developed countries take steps to protect their interests," he added.
Saying that Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam have achieved success in the development of the SME sector, Jashim Uddin said the SME sector of Bangladesh will also be enriched by utilising the experience of these countries.
He expressed hope that the new committee would provide necessary assistance to bring the district-based isolated small and medium enterprises under the cluster system and turn them into export-oriented industries.
He said, in order to make the activities of the top organisation of businessmen more dynamic, it is necessary to take steps to reform it.
To this end, Jashim Uddin talked about recruiting skilled people and increasing research.
He also said the trade body would be more proactive in fulfilling the responsibilities of businessmen to meet the goals of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to make Bangladesh a developed country.