Sonadia deep sea port’s future is bleak, says Economist Moinul Islam

General

The former Chairperson of Bangladesh Economist Association (BEA) and UGC professor was presenting a paper at the regional seminar of BEA at Theatre Institute, Chittagong on Saturday.

He said, “Sonadia deep sea port will not be established in the near future due to geo-political reasons. India has a reservation to allow China to come at the Bay of Bengal”.

He pointed out that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was to sign an MoU for the deep sea port during her China visit in 2014, which never saw light.

“Holland (Netherlands), Singapore, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates) have shown interest,” he said, urging the PM to consider proposal of other interested countries for deep sea ports.

He also said Dohajari-Ramu-Cox’s Bazar-Ghundhum railway project too will face some problems due to geo-political reasons.

In his paper, he urged all to consider ‘Regional Connectivity’ as a South-East Asian issue.

‘If connectivity is not considered as a regional issue, everything will be stuck. Chittagong’s hinterland not only includes India’s seven sisters; but also many regions of Nepal, Bhutan, China, Thailand and Myanmar,’ he said.

He said the coastal area of Bangladesh is a ‘goldmine’. By building more ports, Bangladesh can achieve a ‘win-win situation’ for the whole region.

He urged relevant authorities to develop landport and roads infrastructure, strengthen coastal marine transport, stop border killing, ease restrictions on cattle supply and make Indian visa processing corruption free.