A total of 164 businesspeople got CIP status in export and trade categories for outstanding performances in their respective fields in 2013.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed handed over the CIP (commercially important person) cards among the awardees at a function held at Radisson Hotel in Dhaka on Monday.
Of the awardees, 125 received the status for exports of 22 types of products while 39 will enjoy the status being the ex-officio members of the apex trade body — the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking at the function, the commerce minister said there will be no gas crisis in the country after 2018 as some foreign companies are given the responsibility to explore gas in the country. Some gas fields have already been explored in Bhola, he said and urged the businesspeople to make investment in Bhola.
Tofail said the government is giving cash incentives for boosting the export of non-traditional items as it has a plan to increase the earnings from these products to US$5 billion by 2025.
Criticising some foreign countries for creating pressure on Bangladesh to allow trade union in some sectors, the commerce minister said there is no trade union in Vietnam and China and even in some sectors of the USA. But no pressure is created on them, he added.
Among various privileges, the CIPs will get special passes to enter the secretariat, use special stickers on their cars, and receive invitations to attend some public functions.
They will also get priority in seat reservations in airlines, railways, roads and public transports in the waterways, and get letters of introduction from the foreign ministry for travelling abroad. They and their dependants will also get cabins in hospitals on a priority basis.
Senior secretary of the commerce ministry Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, vice-chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau Begum Mafruha Sultana and FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmed, among others, spoke on the occasion.
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