The graduation from the status of least developed country would create more opportunities, not setbacks, for Bangladesh, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday.
There was a time when Bangladesh did not get much foreign direct investments, he said, adding that businessmen also found it difficult to gain trust of foreign partners while opening Letters of Credit in big amounts.
Once graduated, the country will not face such problems anymore. "Our economic strength and position will be consolidated," the minister said at a press briefing after two cabinet meetings on economic affairs and government purchase.
The purchase committee meeting approved two proposals worth TK199.27 crore while the meeting on economic affairs approved three proposals in principal, including "Equip, Operate, and Maintenance of Patenga Container Terminal" under public-private partnership.
The Patenga terminal project would cost $58 million and the annual operating cost would be $8 million, according to a pre-feasibility study.
Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, secretary of the shipping ministry, said the Chattogram port was operating to its full capacity, and the proposed project, once implemented, would enhance the container handling capacity of the port.
Sultana Afroz, chief executive officer of the Public-Private Partnership Authority, said the operation and maintenance of the project through PPP would involve modern technology, equipment and skilled manpower.
Another proposal was approved to reduce the timeframe to 10 days from 42 days for submitting tender bids from the date of publishing an advertisement in newspapers for importing 5.50 lakh metric tonne of rice under international open tender method.
Joining the briefing, Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Sahida Akhter said a proposal was given a nod from the Prime Minister's Office to sign an agreement between Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) for establishing "BEPZA Economic Zone" at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar at Mirersarai in Chattogram.
The purchase committee approved a project of the industry ministry and another of the Power Division.
After the meeting, Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Dr Sahida Akhter said Dockyard and Engineering Works Ltd got the job of land filing at the chemical industrial park of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation in Munshiganj.
She also spoke of another proposal approved to purchase 130 kilometre of 11kv and 33kv underground cables to expand the distribution network of Palli Bidyut. Both the projects will cost Tk199.27 crore.