The port is the heart of import-export and international trade. It is an open gateway to foreign trade, which is connected to different parts of a country by water, land and air. Along with building connectivity, the role of ports is very important in the overall development of a country.
Land, air and seaports contribute equally to the prosperity of the economy, but seaports have occupied the number one seat from the earliest times to this modern age. By properly utilizing seaports, many countries have risen to the stage of development. We are now in the position to be proud of. We've found considerable benefits in this sector by focusing on the development of the country's seaports over the past decade and a half.
Chittagong seaport, the largest port of the country has introduced Bangladesh on the stage of world trade. After passing the crisis, Bangladesh has continuously entered the market of world trade through this port since 2007. We have seen that this port basically started to turn around after going to the private sector. At present, success in this port is a triumph. In 2021, Chittagong Port Authority broke the record of 134 years in container handling and set a new record. The revenue from the port has gradually increased. In 2009, this port was ranked 98th in the world, now it is 64th. Apart from this, the average stay of ships in this port is now only 48 hours, which was earlier 10 to 12 days. This success has been achieved as a result of both public and private initiatives. Despite such a success story, it would be a pity if the operation of this port was left to foreigners.
Chittagong Port is the lifeline of Bangladesh's economy. Almost hundred percent of the country's foreign trade is done through it. The importance of this port is so high that despite the closure of many ports in the world due to the global epidemic of corona virus, this port was kept open for the sake of keeping the wheels of the country's economy moving. Since the port has been doing well for a long time and has more than doubled its profits in the last decades. So, naturally, it should be assumed that there is no fault in the management of the port. However, we do not understand why there is a sudden need to call foreigners at the port. Experts have commented that if a fully functioning port is left in the hands of foreigners, a huge amount of foreign currency will be lost.
In this context we opined that handing over the port to foreigners is nothing but a whimsical decision. And it is like 'inviting cancer into the body'. Never forget that we are living in an era where new economic challenges are constantly emerging. For this, the biggest economically stable countries are also stepping carefully. Due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal, we also keep in mind the complex calculus of the geopolitics of this port. In this situation, countries with geographically advantageous location like Bangladesh have to analyze each decision carefully before taking any decision. Giant organizations including the United Nations are talking about the importance of ports in achieving the SDG. To put it differently, ports may be used as 'trump cards' in the coming days.
If we look at the recent past, we can see that some countries have been forced to accept tragic consequences due to taking immature decisions about ports. After taking a whimsical decision, various developing countries are now become desperates. Therefore, we believe that no ill-advised decision should be taken regarding Chittagong port.