Shipbuilding zone, maritime university on cards
The government plans to set up a separate shipbuilding industrial zone to help the potential industry flourish.
“The government has also decided to establish a maritime university, first of its kind in the country, to build skilled manpower suitable for the industry,” Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said to the news agency yesterday.
A coastal area under Kalaroa upazila in Patuakhali district has been selected initially for the proposed zone, he said. “We are also considering building a seaport in the same area.”
The maritime university will be established on 40 acres in Chittagong Marine Academy, Khan said. “The proposal for setting up the university will be finalised at an inter-ministerial meeting Sunday.”
Six more marine academies will be set up in Narayanganj, Barisal, Sylhet, Pabna, Rangpur and Chittagong division, the minister added.
The government has taken steps to meet the sector’s global demand to regain its past glory, Khan said.
Bangladesh is now a member of the second grade governing body of IMO (International Maritime Organisation), he said. “Of 118 countries, 10 are the first grade members and another 10 belong to the second grade.”
The IMO Secretary General Efthimios E Mitropoulos, who visited Bangladesh recently, asked for setting up a separate shipbuilding industrial zone after taking a close look at the industry, Khan said.
“During the visit, the IMO official expressed satisfaction at the silent revolution that took place in Bangladesh’s shipbuilding industry and gave assurances of providing cooperation to this end.”
Bangladesh earned $18.2 million in the last six months from ship exports, $5.63 million up from the target, said Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawlader.
“The country fetched $0.89 million more in July-December 2010 period over the same time of 2009, and the period bears a fabulous growth rate of 1,924.72 percent.”
“The Chittagong Marine Academy now provides two-year cadetship. With the new university, the two-year course will be turned into an eight-year course to create world standard marine engineers in nautical, marine laws, port management and shipbuilding management,” said Commandant of Chittagong Marine Academy Sajid Hossain.