Bangladesh has good potential to build ships and earn sufficient remittance to increase the country's economy by exporting them to other countries, said experts on Sunday.
Speaking at a seminar titled ''Transforming to a Shipbuilding and exporting country: challenges for Bangladesh," experts urged the government to take steps to assist entrepreneurs of ship-building industry.
The seminar was held at the auditorium of Engineers Institution Bangladesh (IEB) at Ramna of the Capital.
Khaled Mahmud Chowdhury, the state minister for shipping addressed the seminar as the chief guest, while Engr Nasir Uddin, chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering of IEB presided over it.
Khabirul Haque Chowdhury, former professor, Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, delivered the keynote address.
In his address, Khabirul said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founded the Shipbuilding Corporation in 1972. Since then, Bangladesh has exported 42 large ships to four countries on four continents. Many more ships are ready to be exported.
Currently, ships are being built under the supervision of the Navy. There are a lot of private entrepreneurs who want to work in this sector. With assistance from the government and efforts by Bangladesh's High Commissions in other countries, Bangladesh can become a major ship exporter country in the world, he added.
He further stated, a separate organisation should be formed to take the shipbuilding industry forward. This will make it possible to look into the problems of this sector in a timely manner. At present, may be one or two companies are exporting ships from this country. It needs to be ensured that even after being capable of shipbuilding, this industry is not limited to one or two companies.
Meanwhile, addressing the seminar as the chief guest, Khaled Mahmud Chowdhury said under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the present government has undertaken a comprehensive development programme, which includes shipping, with a vision to make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041. The government has adopted the delta plan.
"90% of the country's transport uses waterways."
He said, "Bangabandhu laid the foundation of this country in three and a half years. But post-1975 governments led the country backwards with misdeeds. Sheikh Hasina has been working relentlessly to take the country forward."
The State Minister said the government is working with plans to develop the shipbuilding industry. He hoped, this sector will play significant role in the country's economy by 2025.
Among others, Engr Monwar Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Engineer AKM Fazlul Haque, MP, Engr Md Abdus Sabur, secretary for Science and Technology Affairs and former president of IEB, Engr Md Nurul Huda, president of IEB also spoke on the occasion.