The port city has, so far, failed to get the importance it deserves
According to the 2019 Lloyd’s List, the world’s oldest journal on ports and shipping, Chittagong has moved up six notches in terms of annual throughput of containers, making it the 64th busiest container port in the world.
This is no small feat for a port that has so many infrastructural problems, and serves to show the immense potential that Chittagong has on so many fronts; indeed, there is no reason it cannot be transformed into an even more vital commercial hub, with links to India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and the rest of the world.
The port city has, so far, failed to get the importance it deserves, and this is largely due to the fact that policy-makers in the past have, and continue to, ignore the tremendous strategic advantages of Chittagong’s location.
This neglect hurts the whole country, not to mention our capital city of Dhaka -- because of some unfortunate policies made for short-term gain, a number of industries have been forced to move from Chittagong to Dhaka, which is the last thing Bangladesh needs.
The need of the hour is to decentralize, and this can only be done through building up other major cities like Chittagong -- only then will the pressure on Dhaka city subside.
But the political will needs to be there -- our government cannot continue to ignore the strategic and geographical importance of the port city, and to that end, we must give due importance to the construction of a deep sea port, and see its implementation through to the end.
Some of the most globally powerful cities in the world are port cities: New York and Shanghai are great examples, so let’s not underestimate the importance of our own one.