FBCCI President, Md Jashim Uddin
The multi-purpose Padma Bridge due to open today is a cornerstone for direct communications as well as businesses between the capital and the South West region.
The 6.15 kilometer long bridge is expected to bring a paradigm shift to the lives and livelihoods of over 3 million people by creating business opportunities domestically and internationally, particularly in South Asia.
The President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Md Jashim Uddin saw this when speaking with New Age in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
According to the entrepreneur, more than 27% of the total population of Bangladesh living in the region will directly benefit from the mega infrastructure in terms of trade and communication.
Apart from bringing significant changes to existing economic activities, the mega infrastructure would reduce the distance between Dhaka and Mongla Port by more than 100 to 170 kilometers while the distance between Dhaka and Chattogram Seaport by 264 kilometers, has observed the president of the FBCCI.
Under the indomitable courage and able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the dream bridge is now a reality that will add 1.5% to the country’s overall gross domestic product growth, said Md Jashim Uddin.
Md Jashim Uddin highlighted the importance of several ongoing development projects centering on the Padma Bridge – Payra Thermal Power Plant, Payra Seaport, Rampal Thermal Power Plant, Dhaka-Bhanga Highway, Twin Highways Dhaka-Khulna and Dhaka-Barisal lanes upgraded to six-lane, Dhaka-Khulna, Dhaka-Barisal railway line, etc. – all being the marks of development for the country’s infrastructure sector.
With the construction of the bridge, Jashim hopes that the southwestern region, which lags behind in development in terms of technology and industry, can catch up with other parts of the country.
The bridge would act as a catalyst for the regional economy based on agriculture especially in the Khulna region, education and healthcare in the whole region which would see a revolutionary change, the leader said. business, citing a survey result that predicted 2.3 percent. GDP growth in the southwestern regions following the completion of the megastructure.
According to Jashim, agricultural products like paddy, rice and vegetables and marine fish including hilsa and freshwater fish will find their way to various destinations in Bangladesh in a short period of time.
The leader of FBCCI argued that the inauguration of the Padma Bridge will lead to the creation of new industries, economic zones, high-tech parks and multiple tourist spots in the southwestern region of Bangladesh.
“We thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for this much-needed gift to the business community in southern Bangladesh,” Jashim said, adding that investors would be more motivated to expand their businesses as the bridge would enhance the ease of doing business and reduce travel time. between Dhaka and the southwestern part of the country.
Under the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, a total of 18 economic zones, including two in Bagerhat, one in Bhola, one in Kushtia, two in Barishal, two in Shariatpur, two in Gopalganj, two in Khulna, one in Madaripur and one in Faridpur, are under development. installation.
The chairman of the apex trade body explained that the bridge would make these economic zones more efficient by encouraging industrialization, employment and production in these relatively backward regions.
“An integrated communication system will be put in place while the ports of Mongla and Payra will be linked,” Jashim said.
Also, land ports will derive huge benefits from the Padma Bridge. The ports are likely to handle increased trade between India and Bangladesh, while import-export activities through Benapole land port will accelerate after the opening of the bridge, observed the visionary.
He claimed that imported goods would reach Dhaka in three and a half to four hours from Mongla Port due to wide road and rail connectivity, thus making the product more cost effective.
To maximize the facility of land and sea ports, port capacity and services should be enhanced and improved, Jashim suggested.
Focusing on the multi-sectoral benefits of the bridge, the FBCCI boss said the bridge will contribute to a balanced distribution of telecommunication and internet systems between the two banks of the Padma while new industries will develop by centering the sharing of information, data processing and outsourcing, software development and training, product manufacturing, etc., all of which would improve economic activities and employment.
Until now, passengers and vehicles have to cross the mighty Padma River by ferries, speedboats or boats, which is nothing but a painful experience, he said.
Jashim maintained that investment in the transport sector in the South West region was low due to the poor condition of ferry crossings and roads, and although there is high demand for various agricultural and fishing in the capital, they often failed to reach here due to transportation. problem and traffic congestion at the ferry terminals.
He estimated that as a result of the Padma Bridge, the distance between the capital Dhaka and the east bank of the Padma and the southwestern districts of the country would be reduced by about 100 kilometers.
“In particular, the distance will be reduced by 50 to 250 kilometers depending on the location of the railway,” the FBCCI chairman said.
“The Padma Bridge will thus lead to improved road conditions and increased investment in the transport sector throughout the region.”