Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday said a total of 58 projects worth $7 billion are now being implemented in Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts.
“All the big projects are being approved for the region. Chittagong will get a new and modern look within three years,” the minister said at International Business Conference at Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View hotel in the port city.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the conference marking its 100th founding anniversary.
“Eighty percent of the country's revenue comes from Chittagong and 70 percent of international trade takes place through Chittagong Port,” Kamal said.
Countries like Japan, China and India are with Bangladesh, he said. “They are competing with each other but they will not go forward without us,” he added.
“The government took up the LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in Chittagong. Four economic zones would be set up. A power station would be built and the Karnaphuli tunnel will be constructed. The development projects will change the face of Chittagong,” the minister said.
Benoît-Pierre Laramée, Canadian high commissioner in Dhaka, said Bangladesh would be able to reach its goals if the country develops infrastructure, workforce and the power sector.
Salahuddin Kasem Khan, managing director of AK Khan and Company, said around two million people enter the labour market each year, and that is the country's strength.
Khan emphasised developing a tourism hub in Cox's Bazar and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and introducing high-speed rail link in the Dhaka-Chittagong economic corridor.
Abrar A Anwar, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bangladesh, and Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, first vice-president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, were also present at the conference chaired by Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chittagong chamber.