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A direct vessel from Europe arrived in Bangladesh on February 5, setting a significant milestone for the country and opening a new horizon in expanding international trade.
The container vessel Songa Cheetah reached the shore of the Chittagong port all the way from the Italy’s Port of Ravenna.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan termed the occasion as historic moment for Bangladesh, saying it would usher in a new era for the country as the direct route would significantly enhance Bangladesh’s trade with Europe.
It is estimated that the direct route will reduce the cost by almost 40% as goods can reach the European port within just 16 days.
“I hope more shipping lines from Europe and even transatlantic will join the path because this will add significant economic values to the economies in the West who trade with us. It would make Bangladesh’s RMG industry more competitive by reducing time and cost,” Faruque Hassan said while visiting the container vessel on February 6 at Chittagong Port together with Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley and Ambassador of Italy to Bangladesh Enrico Nunziata.
BGMEA First Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam, Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President (Finance) Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Vice President Md. Nasir Uddin, Vice President Rakibul Alam Chowdhury and Directors Abdullah Hil Rakib, A.M. Shafiul Karim (Khokon), Md. Hassan (Jacky) and M. Ahsanul Hoq were also present there.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, “This occasion comes in a moment when Bangladesh is celebrating her golden jubilee of independence and our graduation from LDC status. This is also happening in a moment when the world trade and supply chain is crippled by the pandemic. So this is a clear message to the world that we are addressing all the issues required to add value to global trade by supplying to the buyers and traders who kept faith on us.”
Moreover, Bangladesh is gearing up to accelerate its economic growth and bolster trade with the world.
“The Government of Bangladesh is implementing several mega projects, most importantly establishing 100 special economic zones including Bangabandhu Industrial Park in Mirsarai, the Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel, elevated expressway, the third terminal at Dhaka airport and bringing the whole country under railway network. These would add tremendous strength to our capacity, and many of these projects are near about completion,” Faruque Hassan said.
He requested the EU and Italian Ambassadors to tell these stories in their respective countries so that businessmen and investors become aware of the opportunities and value of doing business with Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is one of the best kept secrets in the world. We have the Port, growing infrastructure, stable economy, and most importantly the young and vibrant people,” he added.