DHAKA, Bangladesh: The Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT), a leading Saudi terminal operator, is keen to invest in Bangladesh’s port development sector.
The RSGT recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh’s shipping ministry to support the sector.
Gagan Seksaria, director of global investments at the RSGT and Abdus Samad, secretary to Bangladesh’s shipping ministry, signed the MoU on behalf of the concerned parties.
According to the MoU, the RSGT will invest in the bay terminal development at Chattogram Port, which handles nearly 80 percent of the country’s maritime trade activity. Last year, the port handled around 3 million 20-feet equivalent units and about 3,700 vessel calls.
The RSGT also expressed an interest in developing new container services at the inland container depot at Pubail, in the Gazipur district of Dhaka, and the infrastructure and technical expertise for two other ports: Mongla and Payra.
“We signed a nonbinding MoU with the RSGT. It covered the broader perspective of future investment and cooperation areas,” said Rafiq Ahmed Siddiky, a joint secretary at Bangladesh’s shipping ministry.
“Both parties will now work intensively to pinpoint the investment areas. The project will be on a public-private partnerships basis,” he added.
The RSGT will now share its detailed proposal with Dhaka.
According to sources in the shipping ministry, Bangladesh is keen to expand its port capacity as the economy grows. The Cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the development proposal during its meeting last month.
However, it will take a few months for the parties to finalize the working purview.
“The RSGT proposal may involve an investment upwards of $3.5 billion (SR13 billion) as the port development is a huge and complex task. We can expect to finalize the formalities by the end of this year,” Kazi Aminul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority told Arab News.
He added that there are other international companies considering investment.
“We have developed our road infrastructure and expanded connectivity across the country in line with rising trade volume. Now we need to increase the capacity of the ports,” Islam said.