Global ports and terminal operator APM Terminals (part of A.P. Moller – Maersk), met key Bangladeshi stakeholders recently to explore deepening the cooperation on maritime infrastructure in the country. Together with the Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, H.E. Ms Winnie Estrup Petersen, company representatives met with Honourable Minister of Shipping Mr Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Secretary of Shipping Mr. Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority Rear Admiral M. Shahjahan, CEO of Public Private Partnerships Authority Ms Sultana Afroz and the Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus of the Prime Minister’s Office.
APM Terminals is known for providing superior port logistics and container terminal operations globally to shipping lines. The company is part of A.P. Moller – Maersk, which has a long and established presence in Bangladesh providing comprehensive logistics solutions to some of the biggest investors in the country. Aiming to improve supply chain efficiency, the company considers the Patenga Container Terminal a crucial enabler for local and global growth and a key element of meeting the country’s export ambitions.
Maersk’s and APM Terminals’ interest in partnering with Bangladesh is rooted in Denmark’s goals to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. According to the Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, ‘‘Trade between Denmark and Bangladesh is centered around the transfer of climate-friendly know-how and cutting-edge technologies. It’s an effective way to accelerate Bangladesh’s green economic transition and build sustainable economic competitiveness, especially for access to the European markets, by leveraging public-private-partnership.’’
APM Terminals remains committed to developing and upgrading the infrastucture in Bangladesh, and firmly believe that it would trigger further investments along the supply chain and open new markets to Bangladeshi importers and exporters, while serving as catalyst for future relations between the EU and Bangladesh. Specifically, the company considers the Patenga Container Terminal as having the potential to alleviate many of the constraints that adversely impact the Chattogram seaport today, hindering the future economic growth of Bangladesh.
Commenting on the future infrastructure project in Patenga, Vice President, Global Head of Corporate Development at APM Terminals, Martijn van Dongen shared: “‘The Chattogram seaport is currently utilized at over 100% of its capacity. While truly commendable, it is not a sustainable solution matching the country’s growth ambitions. We believe that by developing a new terminal in Patenga together with our Bangladeshi partners, we can provide a viable and much needed infrastructure solution with a positive economic impact.”
APM Terminals, together with Maersk’s Ocean business and Sealand Asia (the group’s intra-Asian carrier) expects the new terminal in Patenga to quickly grow in volume, benefitting a large pool of Bangladeshi businesses. In line with the company’s increased focus on decabonisation, the new facility should also allow for building sustainable sourcing solutions, including net zero emission operations in the future – an important factor increasing Bangladeshi competitiveness in global logistics. APM Terminals is committed to making the new terminal operational in the shortest time possible.
European investment in ports infrastructure in Bangladesh is expected to invite greater foreign direct investment. The potential engagement presents the opportunity to harness the operational synergies arising out of the integration of the Patenga Container Terminal with global export-import supply chain and help realize the true potential of the terminal as a modern, highly efficient, state-of-the-art terminal that aids the facilitation of local/regional trade and drives sustainable economic growth and stability. It is also an opportunity for Denmark and Bangladesh to strengthen relations by realizing a novel public private partnership project based on their shared maritime roots.