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Wahab's Wealth Watch: December 2023 Gazette




What's New at A. Wahab & Co.?

 

Labiba Wahab, Assistant Director, had the privilege of serving as moderator and panelist at the LEA World Conference 2023 held in Washington, D.C.

  • The discussion aimed to illustrate how leveraging outsourcing can bolster a firm's competitive edge, driving both growth and the creation of customer value.

  • Also explored the challenges and essential factors for success in overseeing an outsourcing partnership and addressed pivotal questions pertinent to 2023, including the role of outsourcing in the era of automation.


AWC Business Solutions Ltd. is now a registered E-Filer with the IRS

  • A. Wahab & Co. will now offer US Tax Preparation Services through its sister company, AWC Business Solutions Ltd., a freshly minted E-Filer with the IRS. Members of leadership have PTINs and can sign off on tax returns. Just in time for tax season!

  • Returns would be prepared for individuals, businesses, fiduciaries, and not-for-profit organizations.



Bangladesh: Economic Updates

 

National Board of Revenue (NBR): FY24 Revenue Collection May Be Impacted by Political Unrest

  • Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, the chairman of the National Board of Revenue, expressed concern that the current political unrest could impact the attainment of the revenue collection target set for FY24.

  • The chairman of the National Board of Revenue noted that the ongoing political tensions may have repercussions on both value-added tax and customs duty collection. The potential effects are expected to be felt in local consumption as well as import and export activities in the coming days.


The Finance Companies Act aims to provide safeguarding measures for depositors

  • The recently enacted "Finance Companies Act 2023" has imposed a 50 lakh cap on deposits for non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs). On November 14, the heads of the institutions, including chairpersons and chief executive officers (CEOs), convened for a meeting with Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukder.

  • Numerous individuals have lodged complaints with the Bangladesh Bank, expressing difficulties in recovering their funds. This provision has been introduced to address such concerns. The enactment of this Act is aimed at enhancing the ability of Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) to promptly return customers' funds. It is crucial to acknowledge that customers may seek to withdraw their deposits at any time, and the financial institution should ensure the swift return of funds upon the customer's request.



Country

 

Following weeks of protests, Bangladesh has increased the monthly minimum wage for garment workers to $113

  • Authorities in Bangladesh unveiled a revised salary structure for protesting garment factory workers, featuring a 56% rise in the monthly minimum wage, now set at $113, up from the previous $75. However, some workers' groups have rejected this decision, considering it inadequate.

  • The announcement followed weeks of intense protests by workers advocating for a monthly minimum wage of $208. During these demonstrations, workers took to the streets, engaged in clashes with the police, attacked factories, and set vehicles on fire.


Bangladesh has climbed five positions on the anti-money laundering index.

  • The countries with the highest risk on the list are Haiti, Chad, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yemen. Conversely, Iceland is identified as the lowest-risk country.

  • The improved ranking of Bangladesh in the report is attributed to enhanced transparency within the financial sector and advancements in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing frameworks. The report highlights the high-level political commitment of the Bangladesh government, effective inter-agency coordination, and substantial investments in both financial and human resources dedicated to Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) efforts.



Business

 

Pran Agro Receives FinanceAsia Award for Top Bond Deal in South Asia

  • Pran Agro clinched the award, surpassing competitors from nations including India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. They earned the accolade for their Tk 262 crore eight-year fixed-price corporate bond, guaranteed by the UK-based GuarantCo, with Riverstone Capital as the issue manager.

  • Established in 1996, FinanceAsia is a Hong Kong-based publication that provides coverage of Asia's financial and capital markets through a daily website and monthly magazine. The publication's annual achievement awards encompass three main categories: deal awards, house awards, and regional deal awards.


A Chinese firm is set to invest $89 million to establish the inaugural composite factory in Mongla Export Processing Zone (EPZ)

  • This marks the inception of the initial composite factory in the Mongla Export Processing Zone (EPZ), and it stands as the largest proposed investment from a single company, as stated by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA).

  • Yun Sheng BD is set to manufacture woven or knitted fabrics, padding, quilts, printed fabrics, embroidered fabrics, coated fabrics, laminated fabrics, and various tapes. This substantial investment is expected to create employment for 5,421 Bangladeshi nationals, as outlined in the press release.



Global

 

The Increasing Significance of Bangladesh in the Indo-Pacific Region

  • Positioned as the gateway to South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh holds a central geographical position in the Bay of Bengal region. Given its strategic location, the country naturally becomes a focal point in the Indo-Pacific strategies of the United States, India, Japan, and Australia. When examining Bangladesh's maritime policy evolution over the years, it consistently advocates for a rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • Within its foreign policy and international relations, the country has consistently championed a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Bangladesh is prioritizing enhanced cooperation and stability in the region. The nation strongly supports an Indo-Pacific characterized by freedom, openness, and inclusivity, aiming to foster peace and development among the neighboring nations.


Japan Incorporates Bangladesh into its New Security Framework

  • The Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Iwama Kiminori, has recently revealed that Tokyo has included Dhaka in its 'Official Security Assistance (OSA)' framework as part of efforts to strengthen defense cooperation.

  • The Official Security Assistance (OSA), implemented in April 2023, represents Japan's fresh security initiative focused on providing military aid to 'like-minded' nations amid the escalating regional security challenges. Presently, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Fiji are also part of the OSA.









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