Hasina calls for global investment to unlock Bangladesh's offshore energy resources

She stresses the need to capitalise on the country's marine resources to fuel sustainable growth

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 22 Feb 2024, 07:57 AM
Updated : 22 Feb 2024, 07:57 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasised the importance of tapping into the potential of a blue economy by capitalising on Bangladesh's marine resources to attain sustainable growth.

Hasina highlighted the need for significant investment for oil and gas extraction projects in the country's maritime zones during a speech at the Golden Jubilee celebration of 'The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zone Act, 1974' on Thursday.

"We are open to international investors experienced in oil and gas sectors. Through negotiations and international tenders, we aim to utilise these resources to bolster our economy," she said.

Hasina also reflected on the country's disputes over maritime boundaries with neighbouring India and Myanmar, which were settled under her government's watch.

The premier assured that while Bangladesh seeks to strengthen its economic and defensive capabilities, it does not intend to engage in conflict.

"Our goal is to safeguard our independence and maintain our sovereignty. We are committed to doing what's necessary for an independent nation," she said.

Underlining the role of the Navy in securing the country's territorial waters, she said, "We have effectively upgraded our Navy to operate in three dimensions, enhancing the capabilities of all our forces."

Despite its geographical size, Bangladesh stands tall in terms of population and its contribution to UN peacekeeping missions, Hasina noted.

She expressed her desire for all personnel sent on such missions to be well-prepared and proficient in their duties, stressing the importance of comprehensive training.

Hasina outlined plans for enhancing the nation's defence and maritime capabilities, emphasising the strategic development of military and maritime education.

"We already boast four military academies and aim to establish additional ones in every department to support maritime trade and develop skilled manpower," she said.

Highlighting the importance of harnessing aquatic resources, including fisheries, marine flora, and particularly mineral resources like oil and gas, the prime minister stressed the initiatives underway to bolster efficient manpower for these sectors.

"Our efforts are directed towards fully utilising our oceanic resources, for which strengthening our Navy and Coast Guard is crucial for security," she added.

Expressing gratitude to participants and international guests at the event, Hasina invited foreign investors to explore business opportunities in Bangladesh.

"Investing in Bangladesh, given our strategic geographical location, promises significant business opportunities. Our vision is to transform Bangladesh into a Smart Bangladesh by 2041," she said..

Hasina also highlighted the potential of Bangladesh's "youthful and talented population".

"With proper education, our youth will drive Bangladesh forward. We are committed to advancing with courage, drawing inspiration from our victory in 1971."