B’desh to emerge as ‘leader in shipbuilding sector’
The country’s emerging shipbuilding industry is capable to fare well in meeting the demand for sea vessels as more than 50 per cent of the existing ships will have to be replaced due to aging, said the Danish Ambassador in Dhaka Tuesday.
Ambassador Einar H Jensen said 25 per cent of the aging ships that would be gradually replaced are small and medium size vessels and Bangladesh could emerge as a leader in Asia in this sector because of lower costs.
“There is no doubt that ships built in Bangladesh are of good quality,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of a national conference on ship building as special guest at Hotel Sonargaon on Tuesday.
The Danish envoy said the industry is still dependent on import of raw materials to build ships of different categories. Such dependence can be removed if the government extends its support to the industry, he added.
He said in order to meet the growing global demand that is recovering from recession, the country should focus on developing the ship building industry. He stressed the need for reducing corrupt practices and meeting eight important compliance standards on ship-building including security and safety of the workers to get a foothold in the global market.
Ambassador Einar informed the conference that some 20 Danish shipping companies will visit the country soon to explore the potentials of buying ships.
The conference, which was organised by Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) was also addressed by head of European Commission Delegates Stefan Frowein as special guest.
Among others, President of Ship Builders Association KM Mahmood ur Rahman, BFTI head MA Taslim and Dr Abdullahel Bari of Ananda Group and Sakhawat Hossain of Western Marine Shipyard spoke.
Prof Khabirul Haque Chowdhury, head of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) presented the keynote paper.
Stefan Frowein focused on trade relation between Bangladesh and European countries and said export of diversified products from Bangladesh was worth 4.3 billion Euro taking trade relations in favour of the country.
“It is likely to expand with the emergence of ship building industry,” he added.
In the keynote paper, the BUET Prof claimed that the country has the capacity to be recognised as a ship building nation due to some advantages including a good number of shipyards, training and research facilities, cheap labour force with experience of international market.
“Bangladesh can be one of the top 10 ship building countries of the world,” he said.
The keynote speaker said recession has increased the demand for small and medium sized vessels compatible with the country’s capacity and stressed the requirement for formulating a national ship building strategy and integration of facilities of ship building.
President of Ship Builders Association KM Mahmood ur Rahman said ship building industry is not only a thrust sector for Bangladesh it is also a thrust sector of the world. This market size is US$ 400 billion which is likely to increase with the recovery of global slowdown.