President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Mahbubul Alam has disputed a suggestion that operational activities of the Chittagong Port be handed over to a foreign entity.
The country's seaports are now experiencing 20 per cent annual growth and the rate is increasing gradually, he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Despite such growth of the cargoes and containers, the country's berth operators have proved their eligibility and capability in handling them and are providing services to the port users and the nation, he explained.
At a seminar in Dhaka on Sunday, Dr Forrest Cookson, an economist and consultant of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, said that there is a compelling case for the selection of an international port management organisation that will provide modern apolitical management of the port.
Citing examples of the local operators' success, CCCI president Mahbubul Alam said the Chittagong Port handled nearly 2.8 million TEUs (twenty equivalent units) of containers in 2017, which was 1.4 million TEUs in 2012.
Thanks to the unimaginable prudence and foresight of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country has turned into an export-oriented country and stood on its feet in many sectors, he said.
The nation is now infused with a new life under her prudent governance because the country achieved successes in many sectors, including power, fuel and mineral resources and communications, he added.
So, it is unfortunate that Dr Forrest Cookson has suggested handing over the administration and operational activities of Chittagong Port to foreign agencies, said the CCCI president.
This will discourage capability of the local operators who are gaining expertise to help strengthen the country's economy, he said.
The CCCI president believes that a skilled workforce is now in the making and they will be able to operate the port successfully.
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