Business leaders from the Asia and the Pacific region on Wednesday called upon their community to play more active role in solving people’s problems through helping the governments in achieving the sustainable development goals instead of just making profits from these problems.
Local trade bodies can more actively engage themselves with the problems the respective country and its people are facing, they said.
They made the call at a session on the role of International Chamber of Commerce in responding to emerging global challenges for sustainable growth in the second day of a three-day Asia-Pacific conference in Dhaka.
United Nations in 2015 set 17 sustainable development goals, including no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities and partnership for the goals for 2030, known as SDGs.
Prime minister’s adviser on private industry and investment Salman F Rahman presided over the session.
The International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh is holding the conference titled financing inclusive and sustainable development at Hotel InterContinental in the capital.
The ICC, established in 1919, is a Paris-based platform of global businesses having chapters in more than 100 countries.
Hong Kong-based Fung Group of Companies’ senior adviser Barbara Meynert said that business was the most influential and powerful entity in terms of job creation and revenue generation.
But currently business is not aligned with United Nation’s 2030 development agenda SDGs and very often businesses are making profits from these problems, she said.
The purpose of business should be solving these problems in the world, she said.
Salman said that local chambers remained more active in activities related to the interest of its members but they should also pay attention to achieving SDGs.
Emphasising skills development in line with the requirement of the fourth industrial revolution, the government is planning to make computer programming coding mandatory at the primary level education, he said.
Mir Akhter Hossain Ltd managing director Mir Nasir Hossain, also a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that trade bodies should do more in achieving the SDGs.
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nihad Kabir said that Bangladesh should now outline plan for post-graduation from least developed country status when it would lose most of the preferences in trade.
ICC Bangladesh president Mahbubur Rahman, Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rupali Chowdhury, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Osama Taseer, ICC Sri Lanka chairman Dinesh Weerakkody, ICC Afghanistan first vice-chairman Zabihullah Ziarmal, ICC China secretary general Yu Jianlong, Brunei Darussalam International Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Shazali Sulaiman spoke, among others, at the session.
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