State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, on 10 March, inaugurated two ocean-going ships of Meghna Group – an importer of consumer goods and manufacturer of industrial goods.
The state minister inaugurated the Ultramax dry bulk carrier MV Meghna Princess and MV Meghna Adventure by cutting a ribbon at the outer harbour of Chattogram Port.
Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, chairman of Chattogram Port, and Commodore Abu Jafar Md Jalal Uddin, director-general of the Department of Shipping were present as special guests at the inaugural ceremony.
Speaking as the chief guest, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that only 63 commercial ships carry the national flag of riverine Bangladesh, which is unfortunate.
"So, the addition of two new merchant ships to Meghna Group's fleet is indeed a positive thing. The Meghna Princess and Meghna Adventure ships will serve as Bangladesh's ambassadors to the outer world," the state minister added.
He also called upon the industrialists of the country to increase the fleet of Bangladeshi flag-carrying ships from 500 to 1,000 in the next 10 years.
The state minister for shipping also said that the country's ports had certain inadequacies that are being remedied through undergoing modernisation.
"The country needed a deep-sea port and in Matarbari, a deep-sea port is under construction for Tk17,000 crore. The government is working to create an investment-friendly environment. If private entrepreneurs come forward, the maritime sector of the country will achieve significant improvement," the minister added.
In his welcome address, Mostafa Kamal, chairman of Meghna Group said that the company already has a large fleet of about 145 ships, including eight sea-going ships used to transport goods by river and sea. And, the addition of two bulk carriers has created employment opportunities for 21 sailors on each ship.
"Two new Bangladeshi-flagged ships in the fleet will surely contribute to enhance the country's reputation globally. Meghna Group is currently in the process of purchasing six more new sea-going ships," Kamal added.
Mozammel Haque Babu, managing director of Ekattor TV and Kevin Green, head of Wholesale Banking at HSBC Bank also spoke during the occasion.