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JCI's moment of glory in Dhaka
Shakhawat Hossain

          Dhaka, for the first time hosted the three-day Asia-Pacific National Presidents' Summit 2004 as well as Asia-Pacific Development (APDC) meeting recently with an aim to bring change of attitudes of the foreigners towards the country.
About 50 participants including JCI President of Asia Pacific Fernando Sanchez and 16 national presidents from of the region attended the high profile summit and the council meeting.
Though the summit and meeting focused on membership growth, marketing and branding of the Asia-Pacific region, Dhaka targeted a different goal from the occasion.
The target was to bring a change of country's image outside world especially to the future leaders of this part of the world.
The country is reeled under the image crisis following the Transparency International (TI) labeled Bangladesh as the "most corrupted country on earth" for the last three years in a row.
On the eve of the summit and meeting, Bangladesh President of JCI Data Magfur said the summit will uplift the country's image to the young businessmen outside country as well as increase the direct foreign invest.
He was partially success in his observation, as the JCI President of Asia Pacific Fernando Sanchez expressed his satisfaction with the success of a number of country's business sectors.
Talking to The Financial Express, the Venezuelan young businessman said he was convinced to see the progress of garments and textile sectors in Bangladesh.
"I was so impressed with locally manufactured sarees that I bought few traditional Bangali women's dress for my wife", he said.
Besides the smart looking president found tourism and information and communication technology (ICT) are the other potential sectors to attract the foreign investor. The president said there are opportunities for investment in garments, agriculture and tourism sectors in Bangladesh. The country should work hard to attract foreign investors, overcoming its political obstacles, he added.
Mongolian JCI president Sergelen Sereenendagva told the FE that he like the concept of New Market as a model of chain shops.
A businessman of chain shops in Mongolian capital Ulaan Baatar, Sereenendagva said he would apply the concept of New Market to built similar market chain in his country.
Malaysian national president Alice Kam who led a five-member delegation to the JCI meeting said many local entrepreneurs offered her to open beauty parlor in Bangladesh.
An expert of the beauty profession, Kam who runs at least ten beauty parlors in Kaula Lumpur said he had no good idea about such business environment in Bangladesh.
But as many local businessmen assured her assistance, Kam said he would consider of setting-up beauty parlor under joint venture.
Maggie Georgopoulos, Australian JCI president and also businessman of ICT had no willingness to open business relation with Bangladesh. In fact, an avid Australian cricket skipper Ricky Ponting, Maggie said that she attended the summit to enhance her business skill and leadership quality.
JCI's main objective is to help different members, irrespective of race, nationality and language, to be better leaders in different areas, said executive vice-president Anwar Momtaj of Pakistan
In fact, from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Osaka, Japan; Frankfurt, Germany to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Dakar, Senegal to Warsaw, Poland young professionals are joining Junior Chamber International (JCI) to network and develop their professional, leadership and business skills.
Founded in 1944 in Mexico City, JCI has spread from the original eight countries to more than 100 countries in more than 6,000 local chapters. Truly an international organisation, JCI has 36 member countries in Europe, 24 in the Americas, 21 in Africa, and 20 in Asia and the Pacific.
The fast growing organsiatioin represents most of the world's nationalities, ethnicities and religions, yet it shares a bond of friendship and core beliefs that help the members surmount multiple challenges.
By hosting the prestigious event, local juniors business leaders not only make the country proud but also present Bangladesh to future business leaders of different part of the world in impressive way to get rid of the image crisis.


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