MEMOIR OF MR. A.Q.I. CHOWDHURY, OBE By: Mohammad Mohiuddin Moin


Mr. A.Q.I. Chowdhury, OBE – from his initial Pakistan Air force life-began his career with a renowned multinational British Company named James Finlay Limited in 1969 as a covenanted staff in the Tea Gardens. A proven leader, Mr. Chowdhury worked his way up to become the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of James Finlay in Bangladesh in 1993. He had the longest tenure as a CEO serving for 14 years in James Finlay. Through his business acumen, James Finlay won the prestigious British Monarchy accredited RIO Tinto Award for its long term commitment and outstanding contribution to the trade in the country. For outstanding performance in the tea sector, Finlay received National Export Trophy a number of times.

In his wide professional affiliations, Mr. Chowdhury held a number of positions in different capacities during his 36 years tenure with James Finlay which include, offices as Chairman of Bangladesh Tea Association, Vice President, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, Chairman, Chittagong Club, Chairman, Royal Capital Limited, Vice President, Chittagong Stock Exchange Limited, Member, Wage Board for Plantation Sector, Member-Bangladesh Tea Board, Representative – on the Tripartite Labour Consultative Committee, Member-Consultative Committee, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Member-Consultative Committee, Chittagong Port. He is associated with various Chamber and Trade Bodies. He represented South Asia Region in International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva.

Mr. Chowdhury was the Chairman of Eastern Bank Limited, a reputed Bank in Private Sector.

He is a Director of Eastern Bank Limited.

He was also a Director of International Leasing and Financial Services Limited.

Mr. Chowdhury acquired Finlay’s operation in Bangladesh with a consortium organized by him and he was the one who negotiated and completed the deal.

Mr. Chowdhury has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by her Majesty the Queen of England for his outstanding contributions in the field of Trade and Commerce as a high profile Business Executive.

Mr. Chowdhury attended the UN Private Sector Forum – “Millennium Development Goals and Food Sustainability” at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban. Ki-Moon at the UN Headquarter in New York in 2008. He also addressed the Plenary Session at the Forum.

He was a Member on the Steering Committee of the CEO Water Mandate of UN Global Compact 2010-2011. He attended the CEO Water Mandate Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010.

 On special invitation from UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon Mr. A.Q.I. Chowdhury, OBE participated in the Fourth United Nations Conference known as the Istanbul Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) which took place in 2011 in Istanbul. He attended the High-Level meeting on Investment and Partnerships and participated in the Roundtable Discussions. During the conference, he also participated in the discussions on Private Sector Investment in the LDCs as well as business engagement towards development objectives.

In a recently held teleconference, UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study – 2016 adopted the following quotes of Mr. Chowdhury and posted on their website. The interview materials will be used by the UN Global Compact in the ‘Accenture Study’ itself to be published to promote the research & highlight its objectives and findings.


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