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Argentina A Trade Destination For Bangladesh

Alim Al Razi
President,
Argentina-Bangladesh
Chamber of Commerce & Industry-ABCCI
President, SATEX Fashion
President, SATEX Technología

Interview taken by- Enamul Haque Enam
Talukder Alim Al Razi is one of those Bangladeshi entrepreneur businessmen who with their merit, labor, perseverance and determination have become successful in achieving establishment in life.
This established man from Bhuapur Upazila of Tangail now lives in Argentina. He is the founder President of Argentina Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Highly meritorious since boyhood, Alim Al Razi passed his SSC & HSC from Fouzdarhat Cadet College of Chittagong. Later he obtained Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Business Studies degree from National University. Dreamer Alim Al Razi had always been a dreamer of development. In order to materialize his dreams into realities, he started travelling the whole world. While traveling, he came to Argentina from United Kingdom. There he realized that Argentina beside being a beautiful and cozy country had ample of opportunities for trade and business. So he decided to stay there.
He took some business initiatives to stay in Argentina. Now he is the President of Statex Fashion, Statex Technologies, Satex Agricola and TA Propiedades S.A. He lives in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Proud son of the soil, Talukder Alim Al Razi was born in a respected Talukder Family of Village Ruper Boira of Ghatail Upazila of Tangail District. His grandfather the highly honored Jahabox Talukder was a renowned businessman. His father Dr. Samsul Haque Talukder was a reputed veterinary surgeon and a high official of Livestock Department of Bangladesh and his mother Rahima Khatun was a government official. Alim Al Razi studied at Bhuapur Primary School, Pilot High School and Fouzdarhat Cadet College. His wife Shamima, is a successful woman entrepreneur. This successful entrepreneur businessman even while living abroad gave an extensive interview to Business America which has been presented below.
“Although we live abroad Bangladesh is our heartbeat. I came to Argentine in 2009 on some business purpose. I realized that Argentina holds golden opportunities. There are no diplomatic ties between Argentina and Bangladesh. It is being done through other countries. Businessmen of the both the countries realized that if we could build a trade organization then both our economies would be benefitted. So on this common concept, on January 18, 2018 during the visit of ex commerce minister of Bangladesh Mr. Tofail Ahmed in the 11th Ministerial summit of World Trade Organization (WTO) the first mention of the necessity of the bilateral chamber of commerce was voiced and then during the visit of Mr. Kazi Enayet Ullah (president of World Bangladesh Organization) in a meeting formed an executive committee comprising 9 persons of both countries a total of 10 member’s entrepreneurs businessmen and formed ABCCI. The committee has a President, a vice president, a member secretary and director’s body. The committee general members are about 200, most of them Argentine”.
“We cannot expect an instant result of any attempt. In this short time we are recognized by both the government authorities. We are being honored by Argentine National Congress and with our request a 20 member parliamentary friendship group is formed to strengthen the ties and trade between both nations. For the first time we participated in 45th international book fair in Buenos Aires with a view to highlight the history of our language and nation to brand Bangladesh in Argentina. Simultaneously we also attempted to search our market of printing industry here. With our initiative Argentina decides visa request of Bangladeshi Businessman in New Delhi within 24 hours as per commitment with the foreign ministry of Argentina and on the other hand Bangladesh gives on arrival visa. We have taken this initiative to strengthen the existing trade relations further. Particularly, so that Bangladesh gets profit doing business here. Right now Bangladesh imports Soya bean, Maize, Poultry feed etc and Bangladesh exports Ceramic & RMG. These are being done through USA. Right at the moment, Argentina having surplus export to Bangladesh, approx. 498milion dollars, against 5 million dollar exports from Bangladesh. I strongly believe if we could establish diplomatic ties, the quantum might be different”.
On the issue of establishing diplomatic ties with Argentina he said, “We contacted former Minister for commerce Mr. Tofail Ahmed and our present Foreign Minister Dr. A.K Abdul Momen Chowdhury during their visit in this regard. They assured us. And we hope our Government would soon take positive steps to establish diplomatic ties with Argentina. On the other hand we met Mr. Javier Arana the deputy Minister of Argentine foreign ministry and requested to open a mission in Dhaka as well. As a result both country´s nonresident ambassadors’ submitted their credential to the presidents of both the nations”.
Initially he started RMG import, and eventually got involved with electronics, Agriculture and Properties inputs. “Here if you have valid Immigration papers then you will instantly get license from central Income tax authorities (AFIP)”, he added.
There are approx. 500 Bangladeshis in Argentina who do business while others work in offices.
99.9% of Argentines are educated. Population is approx 40 million but scattered over a vast land. Education is free of cost here. “I believe, if diplomatic ties can be established then the gate opens for Bangladeshi students for higher education”. Vast areas lie unproductive here. So our entrepreneurs might consider investing in the sector of Agriculture, tourism and mining here.
Alim Al Razi mentioned that he has taken 110 hectors’ land lease where he produces soya beans.
“Argentina has a Presidential type of Parliament. And election is held in full transparency there”.
Though here are many kind of industries in Argentina the country is primarily agrarian economy. Argentina stands second to Brazil and Canada in terms of agriculture. Soya beans, Paddy, Maize, wine, livestock, timber, lemon, vegetable, many kinds of fruits, wheat and mineral products are profusely produced here. The main obstacle to industrialization is scarcity of labor.
“I would like to inform readers that we are already working with different municipalities to form joint venture cooperative industries to reduce unemployment here in Argentina, with the help of Bangladeshi skilled human resources where many Bangladeshis will find opportunity to come here legally and work with honor.These projects will help us establish Bangladesh as role model to fight against unemployment and poverty here in Argentina and in front of the world ABCCI wants to announce that it is a bilateral chamber helping developing industries fight against unemployment and poverty and make best use of resources among the two friendly nations”.
According to Alim Al Razi, the requirement to establish diplomatic ties is vital now. If this happens positively, Bangladesh will be much benefitted. Because of scarcity of human resources industrialization in Argentina is slow moving, If Bangladesh can bring skilled manpower then several entrepreneurs would take initiatives to establish industries and besides Argentine entrepreneurs would be interested to build industries in Bangladesh too, as because of labor cost is less costly than that of other countries.
“All Bangladeshis are interested to invest and do business in his/her motherland. But the obstacle lies in the behavior of resident Bangladeshis in trying to manipulate us and forget our contribution towards the development of our motherland. We should be free of bureaucratic hassles as expatriates”.
On the question of the right to vote for expatriots Alim Al Razi said, ”Obviously! But it should not be an eye-wash mechanism only. It should happen in reality”.

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