The local shipbuilding industry is an emerging field in Bangladesh's export sector and it has enhanced the country's image in the international arena, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Friday.
The minister made the comments while addressing a ceremony to hand over two locally manufactured ships to India, held on the Western Cruise Ship on Karnaphuli river. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Riva Ganguly Das was present at the event as the special guest.
Chattogram-based Western Marine Shipyard Ltd manufactured the ships "JSW Singhagarh" and "JSW Lohgarh" for India's Jindal Steel Works.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tipu Munshi said, "Bangladesh was once termed as a bottomless basket. But the country has come a long way in terms of development, trade and commerce. The ship-building industry has added a new dimension to the country's economy.
"The world favours partnership-oriented businesses. The capacity of Chattogram port has increased, while Mongla port has been developed as well. By letting India, Bhutan and Nepal use our ports, we will enrich our economy."
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Riva Ganguly Das said, "The story of India buying ships from Bangladesh is a good one. Bangladesh will benefit from the revenue earned by exporting ships and this sector will also create more jobs."
She added that Bangladesh is a development partner of India.
After handing over the ships to India, Minister Tipu Munshi and High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das toured the vessels with other guests.
India's Jindal Steel Works placed a Tk200 crore work-order at Western Marine Shipyard Ltd for manufacturing four ships in 2015. Two ships – JSW Raigarh and JSW Pratapgarh – was delivered in October 2017.
The remaining two ships were delivered on Friday.
The ships – which have a top speed of 10 nautical miles per hours with 100 percent load – will carry coal between Jaigarh and Dharamtar ports in India.
Western Marine Shipyard Ltd's Chairman Saiful Islam and Managing Director Captain Sohel Hassan spoke at the handover ceremony among many others.