Importers from Europe, the largest export
market for readymade garments from Bangladesh, have favoured AP Møller-Maersk
for handling and operating the Patenga Container Terminal in Chattogram.
H&M, the largest buyer for the country’s
garments, and Inditex have already written to the Shipping Ministry expressing
their support for Maersk to run the terminal set to be completed by next June
and is expected to be operational by July.
In addition to Maersk, Saudi Arabia-based
Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RAGT), and Dubai-based DP World are also trying to
get the job of operating the terminal.
As per the sources concerned, the
construction work of the terminal is going to be completed by next June and the
government plans to run it on a public private partnership (PPP) basis.
In a letter to the secretary ,Inditex,
which buys $1.3 billion worth of products a year, also raised the ESG issue,
saying, “We would like to direct your attention to the proposal submitted to
the government of Bangladesh by the Maersk Group for operating the Patenga
We have global
experience of working with the Maersk Group and consider them to be the ideal
operator for this new terminal
“We have global experience of working
with the Maersk Group and consider them to be the ideal operator for this new
terminal, not only because of their extensive experience of operating
world-class container terminals but also because of their focus on safety and
sustainability while providing complete supply chain solutions,” it added.
“We believe that their appointment as the
operator of this new terminal can unlock the greatest value for all stakeholders,”
read the letter.
M MasrurReaz, an international trade
expert and chairman at Policy Exchange of Bangladesh, told TBS, “If an
organisation like AP Møller-Maersk operates a container terminal in Bangladesh,
it will no doubt brighten the image of the country in the international arena.”
“However, those who
will meet the criteria should be given the responsibility to operate the
terminal, not on the consideration of anyone’s letters,” he added.