Explore new global markets
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the businessmen to supplement the government efforts to explore more new global markets and expand trade and commerce.
She was speaking at the launching of the country's first World Trade Centre in the port city's Agrabad.
The Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) constructed the 21-storey building, the tallest in the city, at a cost of Tk 200 crore.
The PM said in this era of globalisation, international trade and commerce has now become more challenging than ever before.
Describing her government as business-friendly, she assured the businessmen of providing all-out assistance for the development of trade and commerce in the country.
Hasina stressed the need for diversification of exports and branding of products. She emphasised flourishing domestic markets further saying it would strengthen the financial capability of the country and its people.
The premier also mentioned that a huge development took place in the country in the last seven years in the communications and infrastructure sectors, including construction of many new flyovers and roads in Chittagong.
“Works on construction of Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway is nearing completion while a provision has been kept there to turn it into a six-lane or eight-lane one in the future,” she noted.
Besides, a double-line railway network is being set up from Dhaka to Chittagong to make communications and transportation of products between the two cities faster and cheaper, added the PM.
Referring to the construction of a tunnel under Karnaphuli River, Hasina said the aim of the tunnel is to develop both sides of the river as “One City Two Towns” like Shanghai of China.
She said the government has started the process of constructing an LNG terminal at Moheshkhali to increase gas supply to Chittagong while steps have been taken to set up a 1320-MW coal-based power plant there.
A decision has been made to set up 100 economic zones, including two special economic zones in Anwara and one in Mirsarai, to industrialise the country, she went on saying.
The PM urged the entrepreneurs to further strengthen their business, trade and commerce through investing more in various sectors of the country.
Hasina said Bangladesh now has a huge sea area and the investors can come forward with necessary initiatives to extract maritime resources.
She also requested the businessmen to pay their taxes in due time as their taxes are being used for implementing the development projects.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, MA Latif MP and CCCI President Mahbubul Alam spoke, among others.
According to the CCCI leaders, the trade centre will have bank branches, exhibition halls, a shopping mall, a food court, conference rooms, health clubs, banquet halls, billiard rooms, snooker rooms, tennis courts and swimming pools.
A five-star hotel with 240 rooms would be opened on the 10th to 20th floors of the building while there will be a helipad on the rooftop.
PM RECEIVES MEMENTOS OF BROTHERS
The prime minister yesterday became emotional while receiving the mementos of Bangabandhu's two slain sons Sheikh Kamal and Sheikh Jamal. The two had joined the East Bengal Regiment (EBR) of Bangladesh Army.
Tears rolled down Hasina's cheeks when she was receiving the mementos from the commanders of senior and junior tigers at EBR commanders' conference at the EBR Centre at Chittagong Cantonment.
The eldest daughter of Bangabandhu took off her glasses to wipe out the tears.
Sheikh Kamal had joined First Bangladesh War Course on October 9, 1971 while Sheikh Jamal had been commissioned in the Bangladesh Army and joined as junior officer of EBR on July 25, 1975.
The two brothers were brutally killed on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 along with their father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.