Thailand keen to start coastal shipping links with Bangladesh
28 November 2015, Nirapad News: Governor of the Ranong Province of Thailand Suriyan Kanjanasip expressed interest to introduce a coastal shipping trading route between Ranong port of Thailand and Chittagong port of Bangladesh to enhance bilateral trade with Bangladesh.
He expressed the interest in an official meeting with Bangladesh Ambassador in Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem, also Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UNESCAP Embassy of Bangladesh, at the Governor’s office on November 25.
Bangladesh Embassy in Thailand issued a press release in this regard on November 26.
While commenting to Thai press following her official talks with Suriyan Kanjanasip, Saida Muna Tasneem said, “A key foreign policy focus for Bangladesh is to enhance connectivity with Thailand.”
“We are therefore, exploring the feasibility of introducing coastal shipping connectivity between Chittagong Port in the Bay of Bengal and Ranong Port located in the of Andaman coast in south western Thailand to boost bilateral trade cooperation,” she added.
The Envoy added that direct shipping links between Chittagong Port of Bangladesh and Ranong Port of Thailand could cut down bilateral shipping cost by at least a third and save shipment time while compared to the present route via Singapore.
Bangladesh ambassador, along with embassy high-ups and a large business delegation comprising major exporters from Thailand to Bangladesh, was on a two-day visit to see the available capacities and infrastructure of the Ranong Port and assess the feasibility of coastal shipping links between Ranong and Chittagong ports.
The Bangladesh ambassador also hinted the likelihood of signing a fresh MoU between the Thailand and Chittagong port authorities on coastal shipping and other bilateral cooperation if the feasible study goes positive.
The release further said, “We are planning exchange of expert level visits between the two ports in the near future. The visits would help having firsthand idea and information on the capacities of the two ports,” said Tasneem during the meeting with the Ranong Province governor.
It may be mentioned that the subject of coastal shipping links between Bangladesh and Thailand was first discussed earlier in June this year during the First Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries.
During her two-day visit to Ranong on 24-25 November, Bangladesh Ambassador held a series of meetings separately with the leaders of the Ranong Fisheries Industries and business leaders of Ranong Province including President of Ranong Chamber of Commerce and President of Ranong Federation of Industries.