Shipbuilders to get separate zones
Barua says at Western Marine ship handover ceremony
Staff Correspondent, Ctg
The government will set up separate zones for the shipbuilding sector and formulate policy to support the promising sector, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday.
The zones will be created on the south bank of river Karnaphuli in Chittagong and in Barisal, the minister said.
He also said the government will form a coordination cell comprising experts in the shipbuilding sector to ensure safety and operational efficiency of Bangladesh-built ships.
Barua was addressing a function of Western Marine Shipyard to deliver two vessels of the shipbuilder to a German owner yesterday, four months after it handed two same-size ships to the same company.
The two 100-metre ice-class vessels — EMS Lake and EMS Dollart — each having a capacity of 5,200 deadweight tonnage and a speed of 12 nautical miles per hour was handed to Marku Veder, representative of Grona Shipping GmbH, at the function at Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd.
Each of the vessels was built at Tk 80 crore under a Tk 960 crore project to deliver 12 ships to the same German company within 2012.
The industries minister said Western Marine has made Bangladesh proud by creating a new image of the country in the international shipbuilding market.
Barua said: “It is indeed a matter of great honour to see buyers from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland coming here for building their vessels.”
He said, if the shipbuilding industry continues its current upward trend, the sector will help Bangladesh become a middle income country by 2021.
The sector will also give Bangladesh a new name as a shipbuilding nation through securing bilateral trade with friendly European partners, the minister said.
Bangladesh is the 15th most favourite destination among the developing countries for foreign direct investment, he said, adding that the country has enjoyed high growth in manufacturing and service sectors during the past decade because of the increasing contribution of the private sector.
German Ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Michael said the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Germany increased to a remarkable amount of $3.8 billion last year.
He said the shipbuilding sector would help Bangladesh reduce the bilateral trade gap between the two countries.
Western Marine Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain urged the government to formulate proper policy to support the sector.
Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Principal Surveyor of Germanischer Lloyd Choudhury Fakhruz Zaman, Editor of the daily Kaler Kontho Abed Khan and Western Marine Technical Director Arifur Rahman Khan also spoke.