Tap country’s maritime resources: President
President Abdul Hamid today said there is no alternative to unlocking the huge potentials of the country's vast sea area and using the maritime resources for the nation's further development.
He also asked the members of the naval force to keep themselves ready to ensure the security of maritime boundary and resources.
Hamid came up with the remarks while speaking at a commissioning function of four warships that were formally handed over to Bangladesh Navy at Titumir Naval Base Jetty of Khalishpur here.
"A vast sea area of Bangladesh is full of fish, mineral oil, natural gas and other undiscovered valuable mineral ones. It also has huge economic potentials. So, there's no alternative to using the potentials for the development of the nation," the president said.
He also observed that the whole world is now focusing on marine resources as the limited land resources is being used frequently everywhere.
"The country has a 710-kilometer coastal area, and about three crore people of this area are directly and indirectly dependent on the sea for their livelihood. As over 90 percent of trades and business with the foreign countries are being conducted on sea routes, ensuring strict security measures in marine areas is a must for the national economic development," the president said.
Stressing the importance of performing duties with honesty, fairness, efficiency and maintaining discipline and professionalism, Hamid asked the Navy members to get always ready to ensure te sovereignty of maritime boundary, security of ship movement at different routes, and resist smugglers and pirates.
He also asked them to continue their all-out-efforts to uphold the country's image in the world arena.
Hamid, also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said a significant number of warships, maritime helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft have been included in the fleet of Bangladesh Navy during the period of the current government and opened a new chapter of strengthening the power of the Navy.
Referring to the vision of founding Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to make Bangladesh Navy a three-dimensional force, the President said the present government has already taken short- and long-term plans that are expected to be materialised by 2030.
Stating Bangladesh's shipbuilding capacity, the president hoped that different domestic shipyards, including Khulna Shipyard, would play a very significant role in socioeconomic development by exporting water vessels in the days to come.
At the beginning of the speech, he paid rich tributes to Bangabandhu and freedom fighters, especially the Navy members who made their supreme sacrifices during the 1971 Liberation War.
The president also handed over the four warships -- Nishan, Durgam, Halda and Pashur -- to Bangladesh Navy after the commissioning ceremony.
Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, Army Chief General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed, some MPs, secretaries concerned to the President and senior military and civil officials were present on the occasion.