Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government has been modernizing the Bangladesh Navy to protect marine resources and safeguard sea trade for economic prosperity.
“A prosperous economy would only be possible when we can ensure a safe and secure environment at sea. To that end, we’ve been modernizing our Navy by increasing its capacity and taking quality development programmes over time to protect our marine resources,” she said.
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The premier said this inaugurating the four-day International Fleet Review (IFR) 2022 at Inani in Cox’s Bazar, being held with participation of the navies from different countries of the world.
With the theme of ‘Friendship Beyond the Horizon,’ the Bangladesh Navy hosted the first-ever IFR – a congregation of warships and delegations from friendly navies, including those of China, India, USA, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.
Sheikh Hasina said the strategic and economic importance of the Indian Ocean has greatly increased now as 90 percent of the world's trade is made by seaways. So, safe seas are essential for free international trade, she said.
She said there is a huge scope and potential for maritime trade, economic prosperity and extraction and exploration of marine resources. “Realising the immense potential of marine resources, our government has taken massive initiatives to develop the marine sector of Bangladesh,” she added.
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The premier witnessed a spectacular parade by Bangladesh Navy and foreign ships’ crew, free-fall jump from space by SEALs commando and an operational demonstration before reviewing the fleet.
She unwrapped the cover of a publication titled “Bangabandhu & Navy’s Journey in 50 Years’ in the inaugural ceremony of the IFR.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal delivered the welcome speech on the occasion. An audio-visual presentation was screened focusing on the journey of the Bangladesh Navy since the independence of the country.