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Historic Presidential Appointment and Board Members 2017-18

The ICA’s new leadership team has been voted in following our annual general meeting, which took place on 12 October 2017 during our trade event in Singapore.
Mr Salman Ispahani (Managing Director, Pahartali Textile and Hosiery Mills) will take the role of ICA President. Salman will be supported by Mr Bill Ballenden (General Manager, Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse SA) as First Vice President and Mr Azeez Syed (Senior Vice President, Olam Cotton, USA) as Second Vice President. Mr Jürg Reinhart (Chairman, Paul Reinhart AG, Switzerland) will serve as Immediate Past President.
Acknowledging the significance of the first Presidential appointment of a colleague from the Bangladesh spinning sector, Salman’s inaugural speech was a powerful address. In the speech, Salman outlined his vision for his presidential year and highlighted the ways in which members could become more involved with the ICA.
An extract follows; if you would like to view the full speech, please contact
I am very humbled and honoured to have been entrusted with this huge responsibility. It perhaps means even more to me as I come in as a Spinner, from Bangladesh, to what many spinners have always called a ‘Merchants Club’. Yet I am here, proof that a Spinner can make it to the very top of the ICA, proof that its outlook is becoming increasingly global and inclusive.
I will build on this and encourage ever more transparency and closer liaison with our important growing markets in Vietnam, Indonesia and the sub-continent; without neglecting our other markets.
I will ensure that we engage with governments and national trade bodies in all of these places to spread the ICA vision. I would like to see an increase in members with a wider geographical spread but that can only come by our providing value from ICA membership.”
“We are an arbitral body led by our bylaws and rules. It is very important for everyone who enters into a contract under the ICA bylaws and rules, and that means approximately 80-90% of all cotton contracts worldwide, to have a basic understanding of what may happen in case of a dispute. Our rules help to define trade, they do not restrict it.
We understand that many of our members are busy running their business and sometimes don’t have the significant time it takes to truly understand the rules.
The ICA has taken steps to address this, and to make the rules more accessible for participants.”
“Those of us who are members understand the value of sanctity of contract where all parties who enter into a contract can feel secure in the knowledge that whatever happens they will be justly treated and compensated.”
Salman Ispahani was called to the Bar at Lincolns Inn in 1981 before joining the family business, Pahartali Textiles, where he is now Managing Director.
Based in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Pahartali Textiles produces yarn for the knitting industry. It forms part of the Ispahani Group, one of the oldest business groups in South Asia, with a history of over 175 years.
In addition to textiles and spinning, the group specialises in other commodities and agri-business. They are the market leaders in the domestic branded tea market, owning and managing tea plantations and they manufacture and distribute a range of branded snack foods and biscuits. Their agri-business includes growing, processing, warehousing and distribution of seeds, contract farming of rice and potatoes, as well as integrated pest management research.
Salman was elected to the ICA Board of Directors in 2013. He is the former Chairman of the Tea Traders Association of Bangladesh, former chairman of the Chittagong Stock Exchange and was a member of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
Our Board continues to represent the ICA’s global membership across all sectors of the supply chain and builds on its commitment to engage the entire global cotton community.

Full ICA Board 2017-18