Mar­itime Al­lied In­fra­struc­ture

A clear pic­ture of where Bangladesh stands in the global sce­nario in ship­build­ing, bunker­ing and the sig­nif­i­cance of river dredg­ing for the coun­try was placed be­fore the au­di­ence

Maritime Gateway - - Business Session – Iii -

Even though Sin­ga­pore is not an oil pro­duc­ing coun­try but 60 per cent of the to­tal bunker­ing takes place at Sin­ga­pore, while 24 per cent takes place in Dubai,” re­vealed Com­modore Zul­fiqur Aziz (E) PSC, BN, Chair­man, Chat­togram Port Au­thor­ity, Bangladesh. The ses­sion de­lib­er­ated on the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges in dredg­ing, ship­build­ing and bunker­ing and how they can be over­come?

“If we see the statis­tics, only 3 coun­tries are in the fore­front in ship­build­ing – Korea, Ja­pan and China. Even though Bangladesh is lag­ging be­hind in this sec­tor, but not to that ex­tent,” shared Rear Ad­mi­ral (Retd.) Md. Khur­shed Alam, Hon’ble Sec­re­tary, Mar­itime Af­fairs Unit, Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh. Cur­rently Bangladesh has 0.57 per cent of the world’s to­tal ship­build­ing, but if it is in­creased to one per cent, then it will to­tal to about $200 bil­lion mar­ket. Bangladesh has been build­ing ships for the past 100 years and the coun­try can fur­ther de­velop the in­dus­try. Sin­ga­pore tops in bunker­ing, fol­lowed by Cochin Port that does about a mil­lion tonnes bunker­ing, but Chit­tagong port does not pro­vide bunker­ing ser­vice and this as­pect needs the at­ten­tion of the gov­ern­ment. South Asian na­tions also need to fo­cus on LNG bunker­ing as only Sin­ga­pore is pre­pared to sup­ply LNG bunker­ing. Bangladesh has paid $5 bil­lion to ships car­ry­ing its exim cargo. If Bangladesh de­vel­ops its own fleet then atleast 40 per cent of this cost could be saved. Cur­rently the Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion of Bangladesh has only 2 ships hence there is huge po­ten­tial for en­trepreneurs to ex­plore this do­main.

Md. Sakhawat Hos­sain, MD, Western Ma­rine Ship­yard Ltd, Bangladesh dis­cussed in de­tail the sta­tus of ship­build­ing in Bangladesh and where it stands in the global sce­nario? Bangladesh builds ships for Euro­pean mar­kets, South Amer­ica, East Africa and to neigh­bours like In­dia, Pak­istan, Dubai. In the next five years, the to­tal mar­ket will be about $200 bil­lion and Bangladesh can tap atleast $2 bil­lion from it. De­mand for new ships is grow­ing in the coastal ship­ping mar­ket which is about 43 per cent. Start­ing in 1922, to­day Bangladesh has ten ship­yards of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, in ad­di­tion there are about 110 ship­yards and dock­yards that can meet the grow­ing de­mand from coastal ship­ping. By 2030 Bangladesh plans to rise above be­ing a mid­dle in­come coun­try and the ship­build­ing sec­tor can be a sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue gen­er­a­tor in this con­text.

“World ship­build­ing has seen an un­prece­dented cri­sis over the past decade. In 2007 world ship­build­ing or­der was 1,0055 units di­vided across ma­jor ship­build­ing na­tions such as S.korea, Ja­pan, Viet­nam. Ten years down the line in 2016, the or­der book has shrunk to 4851 units,” in­formed Tariqul Is­lam, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Ananda Group, Bangladesh. His dis­cus­sion re­volved around how ship­build­ing has con­trib­uted to the growth of mar­itime lo­gis­tics in the coun­try. Bangladesh ship­yards can build ships of upto 20,000 DWT. Most of the ship­yards are lo­cated on the banks of ma­jor rivers like Meghna, Kar­na­phuli. Till 2017, Bangladesh has built about 1684 units of ships of var­i­ous types and sizes. The cur­rent in­dus­trial pol­icy has de­clared ship­build­ing as a thrust sec­tor. Com­bined ex­port earn­ings from this sec­tor is about $200 mil­lion, which in­di­cates the po­ten­tial in the sec­tor for con­tribut­ing to the im­prove­ment of the na­tion’s econ­omy.

“Rivers Ganga, Ya­muna, Brahma­pu­tra and Meghna are

de­plet­ing, es­pe­cially dur­ing the dry sea­son and are fur­ther be­ing pol­luted by grow­ing vol­ume of sludge which is a glar­ing prob­lem for Bangladesh, as rivers form a ma­jor part of the ma­rine lo­gis­tics sys­tem in the coun­try,” re­vealed Dr Muz­ibur Rah­man Howlader, Chair­man, Na­tional

River Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion, Bangladesh. This back­ground makes dredg­ing of rivers very nec­es­sary and in the com­ing years the quan­tum of dredg­ing has to be in­creased to meet the grow­ing draft re­quire­ments. Laws and rules need to be sim­pli­fied for ship­build­ing and dredg­ing so that ASEAN na­tions can bet­ter col­lab­o­rate on this front.

“Bangladesh is the nat­u­ral gate­way be­tween South Asia and South­east Asia and the fastest grow­ing econ­omy in the world, but the 2017 World Eco­nomic Fo­rum re­port ranks Bangladesh lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture at 111 out of 138 na­tions ranked, ” shared Abul Kasem Khan, Pres­i­dent, Dhaka Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try. As per IMF data Bangladesh is the 43rd largest econ­omy in terms of nom­i­nal GDP and as per the lat­est re­port of Price Water­house Coop­ers, Bangladesh will be­come the 28th largest econ­omy by 2030. It will be larger than Viet­nam, South Africa and the Nether­lands. By the year 2050 Bangladesh will be the 23rd largest econ­omy of the world. An in­jec­tion of about $320 mil­lion will be needed into the econ­omy by 2030 for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, of which, about $250 mil­lion will be needed for roads, and other lo­gis­tics ser­vices. In­land wa­ter trans­port should be de­vel­oped to play a ma­jor role in cargo move­ment, only then can the roads and ports be de­con­gested. Stor­age and ware­hous­ing is also a ma­jor el­e­ment of lo­gis­tics and needs to be de­vel­oped along with the grow­ing needs of the trade. Bangladesh also ranks poorly at 87th po­si­tion in the Lo­gis­tics Per­for­mance In­dex re­port of the World Bank in 2016. The coun­try is far be­hind In­dia, Viet­nam, In­done­sia and Thai­land in terms of qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture. Although the in­fra­struc­ture com­pet­i­tive­ness has been im­proved from 114 to 111 rank, but still re­mains at the bot­tom along with other south Asian na­tions. Con­sid­er­ing the RMG sec­tor is the se­cond largest in the world, it needs to be sup­ported by world class lo­gis­tics and mar­itime fa­cil­i­ties such that the trade does not lose its com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion in the global sce­nario.

The gov­ern­ment has al­ready sprang into ac­tion with the es­tab­lish­ment of the new ter­mi­nals in­clud­ing the Bay Ter­mi­nal. These projects need to be fast-tracked and should be­come func­tional at the ear­li­est to fa­cil­i­tate ex­pan­sion of trade in Bangladesh. To ex­pe­dite mar­itime de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try, a sin­gle mar­itime au­thor­ity ti­tled Na­tional Mar­itime and Ports Au­thor­ity needs to be cre­ated, given the cur­rent need to de­velop, mon­i­tor and reg­u­late mar­itime in­fra­struc­ture, sup­ported by a ro­bust busi­ness and in­vest­ment cli­mate to en­sure over­all com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try and en­cour­age more pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion un­der a level play­ing field ecosys­tem.

Ma­jor (Retd.) Rafiqul Is­lam

(Bir Ut­tam), MP, Pres­i­dent, Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Min­istry of Ship­ping, Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh, re­it­er­ated the words of Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina, “It is not that I want only Bangladesh to pros­per, I want all the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to pros­per as well.” Com­pe­ti­tion is good, but it should be for de­vel­op­ing each other and not to de­stroy each other. Con­sid­er­ing the mea­gre share of Bangladesh in ship­build­ing the coun­try should strive to come at par with Ja­pan and Korea in the near fu­ture. The de­mand for dredg­ing will in­crease man­i­fold in the days to come, con­sid­er­ing the level of silt­ing in the rivers.

While mar­itime as­pects of In­dia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been dis­cussed in the fo­rum but other

South Asian na­tions have been missed out, re­marked Rafiqul Is­lam and ex­pected the 3rd edi­tion of SAMLF to house a de­tailed gath­er­ing from all the South Asian coun­tries so that the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges of the en­tire re­gion can be dis­cussed and un­der­stood as a whole.

(L to R) Md. Sakhawat Hos­sain, MD, Western Ma­rine Ship­yard Ltd; Com­modore Zul­fiqur Aziz (E) PSC, BN, Chair­man, Chat­togram Port Au­thor­ity;Rear Ad­mi­ral (Retd.) Md. Khur­shed Alam, Hon’ble Sec­re­tary, Mar­itime Af­fairs Unit, Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh; Ma­jor (Retd.) Rafiqul Is­lam (Bir Ut­tam), MP, Pres­i­dent, Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Min­istry of Ship­ping, Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh; Dr Muz­ibur Rah­man Howlader, Chair­man, Na­tional River Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion; Abul Kasem Khan, Pres­i­dent, Dhaka Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try; Tariqul Is­lam, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Ananda Group

An at­ten­tive au­di­ence lis­ten­ing to the pan­elists

Rear Ad­mi­ral (Retd.) Md. Khur­shed Alam, Hon’ble Sec­re­tary, Mar­itime Af­fairs Unit, Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh, de­tails on Ship­build­ing in Bangladesh

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