Third from right, Latifur Rahman, chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, receives the UKBCCI Lifetime Achievement Award from George Freeman MP; A Rouf Chowdhury, chairman of Rangs Properties; Bajloor Ras

Third from right, Latifur Rahman, chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, receives the UKBCCI Lifetime Achievement Award from George Freeman MP; A Rouf Chowdhury, chairman of Rangs Properties; Bajloor Ras

Latifur Rahman, chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, has been honoured with the UKBCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the economy and the society.

UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry (UKBCCI) conferred the honour on the veteran Bangladeshi businessman at the UKBCCI Business and Entrepreneur Excellence Awards-2017.

The event took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane on October 15, UKBCCI said in a statement yesterday.

“As a Bangladeshi, I feel proud looking at the success of my fellow countrymen in the UK,” the overwhelmed Latifur Rahman said after receiving the award.

He cited Bangladesh as a foreign investment-friendly country and called upon the young entrepreneurs of Britain to engage in deeper collaboration with the Bangladeshi business community.

Rahman dedicated the award to his grandson Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, who was one of the 20 hostages killed in a militant attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on July 1 in 2016.

During the attack, Faraaz was offered a release, but he instead chose to remain back with the friends with whom he had gone to the restaurant.

Bajloor Rashid MBE, president of UKBCCI, gave the welcome speech at the event anchored by BBC journalist and presenter Jenny Bond.

As recognition of success, the awards were given to the British Bangladeshi business entrepreneurs in 12 different categories for their individual excellence, Rashid said.

The awards launched in 2016 are highly appreciated by the British lawmakers and community, he said.

The award ceremony will act as a bridge between the business communities of the UK and Bangladesh, said Rashid.

“We have written our success story in the catering sector of British economy, but our successes in the other sectors are mostly kept ignored and unrecognised even though they bear the mark of talent and excellence.”

To uphold and recognise these talents at an international scale is actually the drive behind this initiative, he said.

“We are committed to building up a bridge between Bangladesh and the UK besides creating opportunities for the community, especially for the new generation,” said Iqbal Ahmed OBE DBE, chairman of UKBCCI.

Ahmed also stressed the need for the transfer of the visa centre from Delhi to Dhaka.

The amount of visa approval has reduced by nearly 70 percent since the opening of the visa centre in the Indian city for the Bangladeshi nationals, he said.

“This is great loss not only to the visa applicants but also to the growth of British economy.”

“We need more and more businessmen for the expansion of our economy and there is no alternative for the entrepreneurs,” said George Freeman, chair of the policy board of the British government.

On the post-Brexit policy of the government, Freeman said it is seriously considering the opinion of the 52 percent voters that opined on getting out of the European community.

The British government has always been keen on developing and maintaining a healthy relation with Bangladesh, he said while delivering his speech as the chief guest.

In addition, UKBCCI Special Recognition Award was conferred on first Bangladesh-born British Member of Parliament Rushanara Ali and Directors' Choice Award on Muai Thai Kick Boxing Champion Ruqsana Begum.

Md Nazmul Quaunine, Bangladeshi high commissioner to Britain; A Rouf Chowdhury, chairman of Rangs Properties; Ann Mein MP; Paul Sculli MP; Joe Mundich, CEO of Face Market; Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL; and Kamal Yakub, president of Bangladesh Caterers Association, also attended the event.

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