CHITTAGONG, Apr 19: Chittagong Port Authority will organise a two-day Bangladesh Port Expo for the first time in its history marking the port's 130th anniversary this April.
The Port Expo will be held on April 27-28 at the car shade of the Chittagong Port Authority. All stakeholders of the Port including the Bangladesh Railway that transports a good number of containers from the port to its Kamalapur ICD (inland container depot), will have their stalls in the expo.
Mongla Port Authority and Payra Port Authority, berth operators, ship handling, operators, Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association, Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents, Chittagong Custom House, Freight Forwarders Association and other stakeholders will join the expo with their products and services in 109 stalls of the expo.
Member (admin and planning) of the Chittagong Port Authority Zafar Alam briefed the media at the Board Room of the CPA this afternoon detailing the expo.
He said that the Chittagong Port Authority is observing its 130th anniversary on April 25. A two-day programme has also been chalked out on the April 25 and 26 in the port.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the anniversary programme through video conference on the 25th and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed will attend the concluding session of the programme as the chief guest on the 26th.
The CPA member said Chittagong Port was originally a harbour thousand years back when the foreign merchant ships anchored at the harbour. It came into being through a charter in 1887 and formally started its journey as a port on April 25, 1888.
Initially, the port handled general cargo. It entered into the handling of containerised cargo in the 1980s. It handled one million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent unit) of container in the 2007. But by 2015, that figure doubled.
In 2016, the port handled 2.346 million TEUs of containers recording a 14 per cent growth, he said.
Zafar Alam said that there are Mongla Ports, Payra Ports and even Kolkata Port but none of them is competitor of the Chittagong port. However, recently Myanmar has developed its Sitwe Port as a modern deep-sea port and this port may pose challenges to Chittagong Port.
He said Chittagong Port needed to be strengthened to compete with modern ports in the region and with that aim it had undertaken construction of the Bay Container Terminal, Karnaphuli Container Terminal and Laldiar Multipurpose Terminal under the 7th five-year plan of the government.
He said that techno-feasibility study of the Bay Container Terminal has been completed and the process of land acquisition will start soon.
He said that the activities of the Chittagong Port Authority should be undertaken as port-led development scheme under which all activities in the port city should be oriented accordingly.
Major port cities in the world have gone through port-led development and the Chittagong city development should also be planned as port-led development focusing on the connectivity, key-point installations, flyover developments and other related development activities, he added.