Dhaka will roll out its first 'Made in Bangladesh' cars next year, the country's Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has said.
"The Automobile Industry Development Policy 2020 will be finalised very soon. We will start making cars in Bangladesh from next year," the Minister said in an exclusive interview with UNB on Thursday.
According to the Minister, the state-owned Pragati Industries Limited will start manufacturing the automobiles with technical assistance from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan.
Nurul Majid also said that the Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki had told him in a meeting that the east Asian country's automobile industry entrepreneurs, including Mitsubishi Corporation, "are interested in increasing investments in Bangladesh".
"He (Ito Naoki) also said that Japan would provide technical assistance for the production of Bangladesh's own brand of motor vehicles. He also offered to assist Bangladesh in developing the vendor industry related to automobile and light engineering industries and setting up an Automobile Testing & Research Institute in Bangladesh," the Minister said.
The Ministry of Industries has already formulated a time-bound action plan for the development of the automobile and other industries in the country. "This action plan will play an important role in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)," Nurul Majid said.
On the advantages of domestic car production, he said that foreign cars cost more for end-users due to import duty that's quite high in this country.
"If made in this country, car prices will also decrease. People will be able to buy it at affordable prices. If the country produces its own brand of automobiles, there will be no shortage of buyers too," he said.
The Minister also described the youths of the country as "an innovative workforce". "If this industry is developed by utilising them, the opportunity to export motor cars and motorcycles to the world market will also be created after meeting the domestic demand," he said.