The vice chairman of Beximco was notified of his appointment in a letter signed by the ruling party’s general secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday.
The party hopes Salman F Rahman will use his ‘energy, wisdom and merits’ for developing the private sector, the letter says.
Salman, who headed the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) from 1994 to 1996, entered politics in the mid 1990s.
He founded a party ‘Samriddhya Bangladesh Andolan’ but later joined the Awami League.
He was defeated when he contested from Dohar in the general elections in 2001.
After an army-backed caretaker government assumed power, he was put behind bars with many other politicians and businesspersons.
He was made the private sector development adviser to Sheikh Hasina after the Awami League came to power in 2009.
Salman F Rahman and his elder brother Sohail Rahman started their business in 1966 with a jute mill they inherited.
They began the Bangladesh Export Import Company (Beximco) after their mill was nationalised following Bangladesh’s liberation from Pakistan in 1971.
The company began trading in medicines. Beximco is currently the country’s largest business group which employs over 55,000 people.
The group has interests in textiles, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, real estate, energy, trading, ICT and media, financial services, engineering and construction.
Its products are exported to 43 countries, according to the group’s website.
Salman is currently chairman of the IFIC Bank and owns English daily 'The Independent' and Independent Television.
The businessman, besides heading the FBCCI, was also president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries and top sports organisation Abahani Limited.
He had also been a member of the board of directors at Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).