Bangladesh has proposed multifarious institutional collaboration between the Port of Barcelona, one of the major international maritime trade hubs of Europe and the Chattogram, the Mongla and the Payra sea ports.
Bangladesh's Ambassador to Spain Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood held a fruitful meeting with the President of the Port of Barcelona Lluis Salvado, on Thursday (28 September) at the latter's office in Barcelona and discussed matters of mutual interests.
The Ambassador was accompanied by the Embassy's Counsellor (Commercial) Redwan Ahmed, and Counsellor (Political) Imadul Hoque.
In the meeting, the possibility of signing bilateral MoUs to forge collaboration in matters including establishing direct shipping links between the Port of Barcelona and the sea ports of Bangladesh, port performance and operational efficiency, and infrastructure was discussed.
Logistics services, port community networking, innovation, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, information sharing and exchanging experience and training were also discussed.
The Barcelona Port Authority welcomed and appreciated the idea of taking bilateral cooperation through the institutional mechanism proposed.
International Relations and Promotion Manager Manuel Galan of the Port of Barcelona briefed the Ambassador about various installations and specialized zones of the port. He mentioned that the volume of export containers originating from the Chattogram Port and arriving in the Port of Barcelona registered a growth of 55% in FY2022-23 compared to the previous year.
In this context, the Ambassador said, "Spain is Bangladesh's second largest export destination in the EU, while Bangladesh is Spain's fourth largest trade partner in Asia. Spain-Bangladesh bilateral trade continues to grow day by day. Therefore, a direct shipping link, if established, will significantly contribute to the further enhancement of bilateral trade. It will also reduce transportation costs and lead time."
Manuel Galan explained plans to make Barcelona Port a "smart port".
"We too are moving forward under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's stewardship in realizing the vision for a 'Smart Bangladesh'. Towards that direction, efforts are in full swing to turn Bangladesh into the principal gateway to the South and South-East Asia by maximizing the utility and capacity of the Chattogram, the Mongla and the Payra sea ports, as well as the Matarbari deep sea port," the Ambassador complimented.
The Ambassador inspected several important infrastructures and specialised zones around the waters of the Barcelona Port on board a beautiful cruise vessel offered by the host authority.