Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the government has adopted a plan to increase the number of ships, equipment and manpower for Coast Guard as per the Vision 2030 and Vision 2041 modernisation plans for ensuring blue economy and security at sea. “Procurement of four more OPVs, nine replacement vessels, two maritime version helicopters for deep sea patrols has been approved,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while speaking at the 28th founding anniversary of the Bangladesh Coast Guard and Medal Giving Ceremony held at the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. In order to modernise and strengthen the Bangladesh Coast Guard, the Prime Minister said that advanced technology ships, maritime surveillance systems, hovercrafts and high-speed boats are going to be added to this force very soon. She mentioned that an initiative has also been taken to establish a digital connection with Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to bring about a revolutionary change in the communication system of the Bangladesh Coast Guard in the deep sea. Also Read: Help people in villages in cultivation activities: PM to Ansar and VDP Hasina said that in continuation of this, from 2009 to 2022, various types of infrastructures including Coastal Crisis Management Centres have been built at Coast Guard stations and outposts in coastal and remote areas of the country to make the Coast Guard skilled and stronger. She also said that vessels of various sizes have been constructed. “Under various development projects, accommodation, barracks and administrative buildings have been constructed in the zones of the Coast Guard,” she said. The Prime Minister mentioned that training capacity of the Coast Guard manpower was also enhanced by setting up its own training base in Patuakhali, named BCG Base Agrajatra'. She said inshore patrol vessels, floating cranes, tug boats and various types of high speed boats have been developed for the Bangladesh Coast Guard under various developmental projects. “Combat uniforms have recently been introduced for the force, which I believe will help boost morale for all members.” Hasina said that a dockyard is being constructed at Gajaria in Munshiganj district to increase the repair and maintenance capacity of this force. Read More: Sustainable Development: Separate ministry for blue economy proposed She said that Coast Guard has been playing a special role in the economic development of the country by ensuring the proper use of marine resources in Bangladesh waters. In this connection, she said that the motto of this force is ‘Guardians at the Sea’. The meaning of this is to establish it as a true friend of the people in the sea and coastal areas. The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh Coast Guard has already shown itself as a true friend to the innocent and oppressed people in the coastal areas of the country by preventing wrongdoing and misdeeds. She said that every member of this force is now strong in the spirit of patriotism and liberation war. She also mentioned that members of Coast Guard are working tirelessly for the interests of the country when risks are there. She said that this force gives security for the sea ports, prevent drug smuggling, arms smuggling, human-trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing, control and prevention of sea and river pollution and piracy. Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over the medals to Coast Guard members for their bravery and special achievements. Read more: Blue Economy: Dhaka calls for joint efforts to harness marine resources A video documentary on the activities of the Coast Guard was screened on the occasion. She witnessed a colourful cultural programmes and planted a tree sapling. Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated the newly constructed Laxmipur Coast Guard Station through unveiling its plaque virtually from the coast guard headquarters end. At the function, the Prime Minister also handed over Bangladesh Coast Guard Medal, President Coast Guard Medal, Bangladesh Coast Guard Medal Sheba and President Coast Guard Medal Sheba among selected members of the Coast Guard including its Director General Rear Admiral Ashraful Haque Chowdhury. Read More: Blue Economy Dev: Govt to take project on Tuna, similar pelagic fishing in deep Sea
Tanzania's Blue Economy and Fisheries Minister Suleiman Masoud Makame has said his country is interested in establish cooperation with Bangladesh in the blue economy by signing an agreement after Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen suggested that both countries sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the area. Tanzania is particularly interested in aquaculture and deep-sea fisheries, he added. Momen met Suleiman on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) conference in Dhaka Wednesday. Suleiman was accompanied by the principal secretary of his ministry. Momen was accompanied by the secretary (east) and other officials of the foreign ministry. Thanking Suleiman for joining the Council of Ministers (COM) meeting, Momen said Bangladesh has attained remarkable achievements in agriculture, including fisheries, health and other socio-economic areas. Read more: IORA ministers meet Thursday, Momen for making the best use of sea He proposed that Bangladesh and Tanzania work together to achieve food security. Suleiman said Tanzania would offer contract farming opportunities to Bangladesh entrepreneurs. The Tanzanian minister also proposed that Bangladesh can share the ecotourism experience of Tanzania. Momen invited Tanzanian entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh's economic zones. He suggested that there may also be cooperation in the IT sector. The foreign minister sought the support of the Tanzanian government on the Rohingya issue as well as in different elections where Bangladesh would have candidature. Read more: Bangladesh, Tanzania keen to work on blue economy, agriculture
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday called for developing a cooperative mechanism among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean to promote collaboration for reaping maximum benefits of the blue economy. "Bangladesh believes that the regional vision for the blue economy must be supported by a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental elements of development," he told the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) Business Forum Leadership Summit at a city hotel. Read more: Russian Ambassador instead of FM to represent the country in IORA meeting Momen said optimal use of the marine resources – categorized as blue economy- has been recognized as one of the key components of sustainable development. Bangladesh, he said, considers blue economy as one of the cornerstones of its economic growth and socio-economic development. Chairman of the Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum Sheikh Fazle Fahim and Secretary-General IORA Ambassador Salman Al Farisi also spoke. Bangladesh, as the current chair of IORA, is going to host the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) under the theme “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive development” on November 24. "I believe the council will definitely take note of the suggestions of this business forum regarding the recovery from the impact of pandemic," Momen said. Read more: IORA meeting to be successful with more avenues of cooperation: Shahriar He said there is a need for a sustained dialogue among business leaders, scholars, practitioners and policy makers to identify and deliberate on various economic challenges confronting the region, identify mechanisms to address those and evolve new frameworks for co-operation with the regional countries. IORA has evolved into an important regional group spanning the Indian Ocean through sustained dialogue and cooperation and now is playing as a key driving force to ensure development, peace and stability in the region, Momen said.
Bangladesh and Kenya have agreed to develop cooperation in contract farming, air connectivity, blue economy and food security. The countries also want to strengthen cooperation between their investment authorities apart from exploring opportunities in technical exchanges, education sector and youth cooperation. A 10-member delegation led by Moi Lemoshira, additional secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, joined the first foreign office consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Bangladesh on Sunday. The delegation will also have meetings with government agencies and apex chambers and visit export processing zones and manufacturing industries in Bangladesh. It comprises the additional secretary of the foreign ministry, the high commissioner of Kenya in New Delhi and other officials of the Kenyan government. Read: Bangladesh, Kenya sign 2 MoUs The consultations held at the Foreign Service Academy were presided over by Mashfee Binte Shams, secretary (east) of MoFA, and Lemoshira. During the foreign office consultations, Lemoshira mentioned that the consultations will help identify new areas of cooperation and strengthen the existing relations. He said apart from diplomatic ties, the necessities of augmenting relations in trade and economic areas are being increasingly felt. Mashfee Binte Shams said there may be exchanges of knowledge and training in agriculture, IT, women empowerment and UN peacekeeping. She also highlighted the importance of the exchange of trade delegations. The Kenyan side expressed interest to initiate cooperation between the foreign service academies of the two countries. Lemoshira emphasised establishing joint economic cooperation and signing joint trade agreements. Both sides also pledged to continue cooperation at bilateral and multilateral platforms like the UN, the Commonwealth and the Indian Ocean Rim Association. At the end of the meeting, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Lemoshira signed agreements on bilateral political consultations and cooperation between foreign service academies.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam has proposed to establish a separate ministry for the blue economy or a separate division under the Ministry of Science and Technology. He emphasized on the contribution of the blue economy to Bangladesh’s future sustainable development endeavors. While speaking as the chief guest at a seminar, the State Minister emphasized on two specific issues for the sustainable development and proper utilization of the blue economy - resource exploration and resource exploitation. He also highlighted the importance of knowledge mobilization and conducting research on the subject matter. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organized the hybrid seminar on “Blue Economy and Maritime Security: Bangladesh Perspective” on Thursday. Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd) Md. Khurshed Alam attended the seminar as a special guest. BIISS Chairman Kazi Imtiaz Hossain chaired the inaugural session while its Director General Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman delivered the welcome remarks. The BIISS DG emphasized on creating a blue economy belt to utilize the huge untapped resources of the vast area of the sea. Kazi Imtiaz Hossai stressed ensuring maritime security and harnessing the potential of the blue economy. Secretary Khurshed Alam highlighted the potential of marine resources in the country’s economy along with some of the challenges. In the working session, four presentations were made. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Professor of International Relations, Jahangirnagar University, made a presentation on “Blue Economy and Ocean Governance: Bangladesh Perspective”. Read: Bangladesh’s Blue Economy Cell falters; no progress in 4 yrs A presentation titled “Maritime Security and Strategy in the Bay of Bengal” was made by Professor Dr Delwar Hossain, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, and Member, Bangladesh Public Service Commission. Moutusi Islam, BIISS Research Fellow made a presentation on “Nexus between Maritime Security and Blue Economy: Implications for Bangladesh in Post-Covid Era”. A presentation titled “Bangladesh’s Economic Prospect in the Bay of Bengal” was made by Dr Mahfuz Kabir, BIISS Research Director. The working session was chaired by Ambassador M Humayun Kabir, President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI). Senior officials from different ministries, ambassadors and high commissioners, senior civil and military officials, media, academia, think tanks, business personalities, students and teachers from different universities participated in the open session. They stressed the importance of the blue economy and marine resources to the country’s economy and future development endeavors. They also highlighted different issues of maritime security in the context of Bangladesh.
State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam Thursday called for setting up a separate ministry or a separate division under the Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure proper use of the blue economy through resource exploration and resource exploitation. He was addressing the hybrid seminar "Blue Economy and Maritime Security: Bangladesh Perspective" organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). The state minister emphasised the contribution of the blue economy to Bangladesh's future sustainable development efforts. He also highlighted the importance of knowledge mobilisation and conducting research on the area. Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, director general of BIISS, emphasised creating a blue economy belt to use the huge untapped resources of the vast area of the sea. Rear Admiral Md Khurshed Alam (retired), secretary at the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the seminar as a special guest. Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, chairman of BIISS, chaired the inaugural session. Dhaka University Professor Delwar Hossain, Jahangirnagar University Professor Abul Kalam Azad, BIISS Research Director Mahfuz Kabir, and Research Fellow Moutusi Islam also spoke at the seminar.
Bangladesh has sought a joint blue economy approach to harness the untapped marine resources that can be useful in tackling poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, energy crisis and ecological imbalances towards strengthening the sustainable development process. “Oceans are the potential and versatile resource-frontiers for humankind, but remains under-explored and unexploited,” said secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam. Bangladesh along with some other countries co-hosted the event titled “Fostering international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS” organised by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference being held in Lisbon, Portugal. Also read: Ecnec clears a Tk 1092-cr project to widen Cox’s Bazar Marine Drive The vice-president of Tanzania, foreign and tourism minister of Tonga, minister of international development of Norway, ministers, high representatives and experts from the member states also attended the event, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Khurshed emphasized the need of fostering international and regional cooperation to develop strategies in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. He elaborated that states and organizations in developing regions may not have the capacity to develop and manage their own shared marine resources, as they lack the necessary information, expertise or the financial capacity to follow through with planning and operations. External assistance can be valuable, and sometimes essential, in establishing shared international marine resources arrangements, Khurshed said. Also read: Blue Economy Dev: Govt to take project on Tuna, similar pelagic fishing in deep Sea Panelists opined that regional and international cooperation is crucial to develop marine scientific knowledge and research capacity to leverage the benefits offered by the blue economy. They said transfer of technology can create enabling conditions in the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS states to participate effectively in existing and emerging ocean sectors of the blue economy. Representatives also viewed strongly that strategic partnership is necessary for harnessing the benefits of the blue economy. The seminar was wrapped up with commitments to forging wider regional and international cooperation, devising mechanisms for technology transfer and financing the blue economy.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has announced a plan to take up a project called ‘‘Pilot Project on Tuna and Similar Pelagic Fishing in the Deep Sea” as part of Blue Economy development. Announcing the new project in his budget speech in parliament, he said that this will open a new horizon in the ocean economy. He mentioned that the historic sea conquest under the leadership of the current government has paved the way for developing the country’s blue economy. In 2014, they prepared short-term, medium-term and long-term plan of action to develop the blue economy and harness the potentials of marine resources. Recently, the action plan has been updated (2018 to 2030) in line with SDGs declared by the United Nations and have started implementing them. “Through the joint efforts with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN), we have prepared a ‘National Plan of Action’ to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal and unregulated fishing”, he said. As of February 2022, the fish research and survey vessel ‘RV Meen Sandhani’ has so far conducted 35 survey cruises, he mentioned. Read: Blue economy potentials: Experts for maritime affairs ministry
Bangladesh is a country with great potential in the field of blue economy, which stands for the sustainable use of marine resources. The prospect of this sector lies not only in Bangladesh's geographic proximity to water bodies but also in its abundant seafood and fishery products which provide plenty of opportunities for export. This article will discuss how Bangladesh can leverage its natural resource endowment by building up an efficient blue economy that creates jobs, generates revenue, and supports poverty alleviation. What is the Blue Economy? The blue economy is a term used to describe the sustainable use of marine resources. It covers economic activities such as fishing, aquaculture, and tourism that depend on healthy oceans and seas but also includes new industries like biotechnology and maritime transport. The blue economy concept was introduced by Gunter Pauli in 1994. However, according to the World Bank, the modern definition of Blue Economy indicates the use of all the resources of the oceans and the resources at their bottom for sustainable development. The word "economy" here refers not only to business but also maritime issues such as conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources. Read Bangladesh, Kenya explore cooperation in blue economy Prospects of Blue Economy in Bangladesh In 2014, we conquered the sea from Myanmar. As a result, our maritime boundary has increased to 1.4 times that of another part of the whole of Bangladesh. The present sea area of Bangladesh is 2,07,000 square kilometers. Since our sea area has increased significantly, it is time to use the ocean resources for the advancement of Bangladesh. However, the Bangladesh government has already taken steps to use the resources. Nevertheless, our government does not want to rely too much on foreign aid. Hence, the government wants to move forward through self-reliance. A university named "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University Bangladesh was established in 2013 with the aim to build skills related to blue Economics and its development. The oceanography department has been introduced in different universities, including Dhaka University. In this way, we hope that one-day skilled manpower will be formed in our country. So, what are the prospects of a blue economy in Bangladesh? Let's find them out. Read Focus on blue economy: PM to IORA states Bangladesh has adopted Delta Plan-2100 in 2020, in which the maritime economy has been given priority. The plan adopts five strategies to harness the potential of the blue economy, one of which is the speedy completion of a multidimensional survey of marine resources. Through this, the government has taken up the first and foremost task of utilizing the maritime economy. Prospect in Economy If activities are carried out in at least four areas in the territory that Bangladesh has acquired as a result of the conquest of the sea, it is possible to earn about 2.5 trillion US dollars every year by 2030. The four sectors are oil and gas extraction, fisheries extraction, port expansion, and tourism. 145 crore people live on the shores of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Thailand, where Bangladesh is in the center. As a result, there are good opportunities to enrich the economy of Bangladesh due to the huge economic potential here. Fisheries and Aquaculture At present, Bangladeshi trawlers catch fish within 35-40 nautical miles from the coast. But our economic zone is 200 nautical miles. There is a special opportunity to strengthen the country's maritime economy by working in a wider range. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bangladesh is the first of the four countries among Thailand, India, and China in the world to achieve huge success in fisheries by 2022. Then Thailand, India, and China. Fish production has increased by 53% in the last 10 years. And fish exports have increased by more than 20%. Hence, proper utilization of the marine area will surely increase the fish industry. Read Madagascar keen to work with Bangladesh on blue economy, ICT Apart from fishery resources, the Bay of Bengal is also rich in marine animals, marine weeds, and shrubs. There is a huge number of marine weeds in the Bay of Bengal. These weeds can be processed to make medicines for various diseases. Spirulina is the most valuable of these weeds. People eat them as food in China, Japan, and different countries of Europe. So, there is a huge prospect in exporting these stuff. Natural Resources and Energy The amount of Bangladesh's natural resources above the water and under the water are the same. Moreover, The mineral resources at the bottom of the Bay of Bengal are thought to be unmatched by any other sea or bay in the world. The mineral resources at the bottom of this sea include about 17 types of mineral sand. Most of these are zircon, rutile, sillimanite, ilmenite, magnetite, garnet, kyanite, monazite, lycoxine, etc. All of these substances are valuable, but monazite is thought to be a treasure. This radioactive material is used to make atomic bombs and to generate energy in nuclear reactors.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has proposed that both Bangladesh and Kenya can establish cooperation in the blue economy. Both sides agreed to establish cooperation in tourism, IT and agriculture sectors in addition to developing the existing trade and commerce. Chief Administrative Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya Ababu Namwamda met Dr Momen at State Guest House Padma on Thursday and discussed the issues. He congratulated the Bangladesh government on the occasion of celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Bangladesh and termed the events as a very special moment for Bangladesh. The Chief Administrative Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya was accompanied by the diplomatic officer of Kenyan High Commission in India. Namwamda appreciated the efforts maintained by Bangladesh in climate change areas as well as its achievements earned towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals. The Foreign Minister apprised the Kenyan Chief Secretary about the development march of Bangladesh and the remarkable achievements of Bangladesh in socio-economic areas. He mentioned that Bangladesh is now a vibrant economy under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Foreign Minister stated that despite the effect of the Covid pandemic, Bangladesh is maintaining a robust economic growth. He said Bangladesh has expertise in the IT & ICT sector and the government is offering various types of digital services to people. Dr Momen underlined that both countries may cooperate in various areas, including agriculture, defence and IT & ICT. READ: Junior World Athletics: Sumaiya leaves for Kenya to represent Bangladesh The Chief Administrative Secretary commended the contribution of Bangladesh peacekeepers at UN Missions across the globe.