Western Marine Shipyard Ltd aims to export small vessels worth $250 million or over Tk 2,000 crore in the next five years.
Western Marine will fulfil 25 percent of Bangladesh's target to export $1 billion worth of vessels in the period, said Saiful Islam, chairman of the country's largest shipbuilding company.
He spoke at a press meet over the recent development in the shipbuilding industry at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
He demanded policy support from the government to implement its export target and give a boost to the shipbuilding industry.
The industry has bright prospects in the coming years, as the world economy has started to gain momentum after a long break, he said.
Bangladesh's shipbuilding industry needs long-term and low-cost financing arrangement to help the sector to continue to grow, Islam said.
Western Marine still owes Tk 1,084 crore to banks and financial institutions, he said. The listed company now plans to arrange the financing through issuing rights shares in the stockmarket to reach its projected export target, he said.
The company's directors will also contribute from their own funds to increase the shipbuilder's infrastructure capacity, he said.
Sakhawat Hossain, managing director of the company, gave a presentation over the local and international shipbuilding industry at the event.
The local industry needs Tk 4,000 crore worth of ships every year, 10 percent of which comes from Western Marine, he said.
The shipbuilding industry was hit hard in 2009 due to the global economic meltdown and many companies in Bangladesh were forced to close their operations then, he said.
“The sector started recovering in 2015.”
Western Marine is currently producing 30 ships for the local market and eight for companies in Norway, the Netherlands and India, according to his presentation.
Established in 2000, Western Marine manufactures and exports ferries, cargo vessels, passenger vessels, offshore patrol vessels, hi-tech fishing trawlers, tugboats, landing craft tank etc.
Western Marine has so far exported its produce to companies in Germany, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Ecuador, Tanzania, Pakistan, Gambia, Uganda, India, Kenya and the UAE.
At the Dhaka Stock Exchange, the company's share traded at Tk 29.90 on January 18.