Update February 9, 2016

Dhaka 5-50 am, 19-September, 2021

Thai delegation in Dhaka for direct shipping link

Sumel Sarker

Bangladesh thailand

Thai delegation in Dhaka for direct shipping link

09 February 2016, Nirapad News: A high profile 12-member delegation from the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has arrived in Dhaka on Monday (February 8) afternoon to assess the feasibility of direct coastal shipping between Chittagong Port of Bangladesh and Ranong Port of Thailand.

PAT assistant director general (asset management and business development) Pol Lt. Gen. Prajak Sri Watthana is leading the team.

Other members include Ranong governor Suriyan Kanjanasilp, Ranong Chamber of Commerce chairman Sudaporn Yodpinij, Ranong Federation of Industries president Maethus Rangsiyanan and Thai-Bangladesh Business Council president Mingpant Chayavichitsilp.

Bangladesh embassy in Thailand issued a press release in the afternoon regarding the visit.

During the three-day visit, the Thai delegation is scheduled to hold official talks with the shipping ministry officials on February 9 to discuss the feasibility of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish direct coastal shipping links between Chittagong and Ranong.

Shipping ministry secretary Ashoke Madhab Roy is expected to lead the Bangladesh delegation comprising of Bangladesh ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem, high-ups of the foreign, commerce and shipping ministries, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and port authorities of Chittagong and Mongla.

Private sector members of the shipping industries including shipping liners, freight forwarders, importers and exporters are also expected to attend the meeting.

The delegation is also scheduled to visit Chittagong on February 10 to hold discussion with the Port Authority of Chittagong and visit Chittagong Export Processing Zone (EPZ).

The PAT delegation is also expected to hold talks with Bangladesh-Thailand Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry to understand the business and commercial feasibility of the direct coastal shipping.

Experts say, direct coastal shipping links between the two countries will lower the trading and shipping costs of goods and services, save cargo shipping time, create a new connectivity, trade and transportation route, and contribute to enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

This would be the first official discussion on direct coastal shipping connectivity between Bangladesh and any ASEAN country.

Bangladesh foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque put forward the proposal to Thailand’s former foreign secretary Norachit Sinhaseni during the latter’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015 for the first foreign ministry consultations between the two countries.

Ranong Port is the nearest regional port of Thailand on the Andaman seacoast from Chittagong Port and is earmarked for seafaring trade with all BIMSTEC countries especially following the BIMSTEC FTA is concluded.

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