Bangladesh should go for large vessels utilising cheap labour force: Experts

Bangladesh should go for large vessels utilising cheap labour force: Experts

DHAKA, Nov 18 (BSS) – Local shipbuilders should go for making large ocean-going vessels having 10,000DWT capacity utilising the unique opportunity of cheap labour force, experts said, insisting on the government to provide policy support to propel the sector’s growth.

The world’s leading ship makers especially China procured huge orders for building large multipurpose vessels but their workforces have become expensive, they said, adding Bangladesh can utilise the cheap and easily trainable workforce to build large ships.

“When Ship makers such as China, Japan and South Korea are focusing on making large ships, Bangladesh is making small ships although it has capacity to build those large ships,” Giorgio Saletti, Regional Manager of RINA, a ship classification society based in Italy, told a function yesterday.

Narayanganj Engineering and Shipbuilding Ltd (NESL), one of the local shipbuilders, arranged the function marking steel cutting ceremony of four vessels being built for local buyers.

Handing over of an oil tanker also marked the ceremony at its company’s proposed shipyard at Paschim Baherchar of Munshiganj, a proposed site for the country’s shipbuilding zone.

Principal Officer of Mercantile Marine Department Captain Habibur Rahman, NESL chairman Saiful Islam, deputy managing director Abdul Wadud and local buyers were present, among others.

Saletti said shipbuilding industry of Bangladesh has bright prospect for its geographical location and easily trainable workforce.

Proper nurturing of the promising sector surely help bolster up the economic growth of the country, said the RINA regional manager (South Asia, Middle East and Australia).

Habibur Rahman said,” the country should go for making large vessels. I call upon all shipbuilders to build big ships with 10,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) capacity to prove that Bangladesh can do it as well.”

Saiful Islam, also chairman of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, said, “We are focusing on export diversification. We are earning foreign exchange together with saving forex by importing import substitute goods.”

Therefore, he said, the shipbuilding sector deserves government policy support. “We got neither cash incentive nor refinancing scheme from the government.”

At present, Ananda Shipyard and Slipways (ASSL), Highspeed shipbuilding, Dhaka Dockyard and Engineering Works, Western Marine, Khan Brothers Shipbuilding Ltd and Karnaphuli Shipyard are the leading shipbuilding companies that make ships for foreign buyers.

These companies have received export orders of world-class seagoing vessels — both small and medium — worth $478 million with a deadline to deliver those by 2013, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).


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