Locally made vessels handed over to German company
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday announced to start funding the growing shipbuilding industry under a Tk 200 crore refining scheme at a single digit interest rate to boost up the sector.
Bangladesh Bank is awaiting green signal from the finance ministry in this regard, said Dilip.
He was addressing as the chief guest at the handing over ceremony of two of the largest ice class vessels ever built in the country by Western Marine Shipyard (WMS) to a German company at Chittagong Dry Dock Limited (CDDL).
Dilip said the government is actively considering to establish a special shipbuilding zone.
WMS Chairman Saiful Islam and Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain formally handed over the two vessels to Markku Veder, owner of the German company Grona Shipping GmbH.
State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany Martin Biesal said on showing this great technical and engineering achievement, Bangladesh has come out of the group of least developed countries.
He said it would encourage the potential German investors to invest in Bangladesh.
German Ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Michael said a new phase of Bangladesh has been marked with the emergence of the new export industry of building ocean-going ships.
WMS Chairman Saiful Islam said Bangladesh is once again retracing her glorious past by building international class ships and exporting those to Europe.
Shipbuilding sector could increase the country's GDP by at least 3 percent within the next six years as the sector has been showing great potential to become the country's largest foreign exchange earning sector, he said.
Markku Veder, Managing Director of East Wind Project Management GmbH Lars Brennek, who has carried out over 300 sea trials of ships, expressed satisfaction over the quality of the two vessels.
The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam thanked WMS management team for achieving its target amidst all difficulties and challenges like electricity shortages and others.
“With this, in a way a small achievement, we are looking forward to a bigger horizon,” he said.
Three local lawmakers Mainuddin Khan Badal, MA Latif and Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury were also present.
Vice President of Germanischer Lloyd (GL) Fock Rothe, and AB Bank Managing Director Kaiser A Chowdhury also spoke at the function.