Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Ex-officio Member
Ambassador Farooq Sobhan is the President and CEO of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) which was established in October 2000. BEI is an independent research institute committed to the development of the private sector in Bangladesh and which is involved in a variety of research projects relating to the improvement of the investment climate in Bangladesh, the development of the SME sector, Public-Private partnerships, regional cooperation in South Asia, Indo-Bangladesh relations, Sino-Bangladesh relations, and also work on Counter Terrorism in Bangladesh. BEI also serves as a regular platform for dialogue between the government and the private sector on various policy issues of concern to the private sector.
Ambassador Sobhan was Executive Chairman, Board of Investment (BOI) and Special Envoy to the Prime Minister 1997-1999 and Foreign Secretary 1995-1997. He has also served as Ambassador/High Commissioner to India, China, Malaysia and the United Nations. He visited Washington and the United Nations in New York in May 2007 as the Special Envoy of the Present Caretaker Government, with the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister.
Ambassador Sobhan served as Chairman of the Group of 77 at the UN 1982-1983, and was Chairman, UN Commission on TNCs 1991-1992. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), based in Kathmandu and was Co-Chairman of the Coalition for South Asian Co- operation (CASAC) from 1994-2001. He was a visiting professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University in 2003, where he taught a post graduate course on South Asia. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the independent Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), established in Dhaka in September 2007. He is the Chairman of an Advisory Committee on Counter Terrorism established in 2006, which includes senior officials of the government.
Ambassador Sobhan has been a key-note speaker on various aspects of private sector development at conferences organised by the World Bank, IFC and DFID. He has over the years served on a number of international panels and advisory committees. He is currently a Member of the International Advisory Committee of the Asia Society in the U.S., the Round Table in the U.K., a Commissioner of the Ramphal Centres’ Commission on Migration and Development, a Board Member of the South Asian Center for Policy Studies and a member of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit in the U.K. He is a Patron of the Ramphal Centre in London. He chaired the Task Force established by the Asia Foundation in 2004 on “The US Role in South Asia”.
Ambassador Sobhan has written extensively on international affairs and relations. His publications include a book entitled “Opportunities for South-South Co-operation” and as co-author, “Shaping South Asia’s Future: Role of Regional Co-operation”. He has edited the following BEI publications: “Strengthening Cooperation and Security in South Asia Post 9/11”, “ Bangladesh-India Dialogue: Vision of Young Leaders”, “Dynamics of Bangladesh-India Relations: Dialogue of Young Journalists Across the Border”, “A Comparative Analysis of Corporate Governance in South Asia: Charting a Roadmap for Bangladesh” “Reducing the Cost of Doing Business in Bangladesh”, “Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh”, “Study of e-Government in Bangladesh”, “Countering Terrorism in Bangladesh” and, “Trends in Militancy in Bangladesh: Possible Responses”, “Bangladesh-India Relations: Security Perspectives”, and Bangladesh-India Relations: Security Issues and Cooperation.