Experts opined that Bangladesh steel industry has immense growth potentials, which can be explored and utilised in the upcoming years, provided Chittagong Port's handling capacity is enhanced as well as ample gas and electricity supply is ensured.
They said Bangladesh's steel consumption is currently around seven to eight million tonnes a year, which will rise to 18 million tonnes a year by 2030, if the sector gets necessary support.
These views came in International Steel Long Products Summit 2017 at Radisson Blu Chittagong on Tuesday. Major steel producers from home and abroad participated in the daylong event with their products.
Local major steel producers, like - BSRM, GPH Ispat, RRM, PHP Family and RSRM, along with global steel sector leaders, like - SMS Group of Germany, Primetal Technologies, Electrotherm, Conecranes, MHM, Padman, Steel Users Forum of India (SUFI), Doshion Water Solution, Baumer, M Sons Industries and IMT, showcased their products.
Assistant High Commissioner of India in Chittagong Somnath Halder spoke at the summit as the guest of honour, while Chairman of PHP Family Sufi Md Mizanur Rahman inaugurated the programme.
The inaugural session was organised by Steel Group of Mumbai, and chaired by its founder and CEO Ajay Tambe.
Chief Economist of Joint Plant Commission of Indian Ministry of Steel Dr A S Firoz presented the keynote paper on different aspects of global steel sector as well as investment in producing quality steel products.
The second session of open discussion was moderated by Dr Shusmita Dasgupta, deputy chief economist of Joint Plant Commission.
Mr Somnath said steel sector has been contributing immensely to human civilization through innovation of advanced technology and marketing.
Joint investment and bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and India can take local steel industry to a new height, as Indian technical assistance can help to enhance capacity of Bangladeshi steel plants, he added.
Sufi Mizan said the summit will play a significant role in ensuring quality production and value creation of local steel sector.
Referring to the recent list of loan defaulters he said only 100 businesses are defaulters of Tk 1,113.47 billion, deposited by the country's common people in banks.
"If they return the money, the banks will become stronger and may lower interest rates. Thus borrowers will also be benefitted," he added.
Dr A S Firoz said one investor may have money in his pocket, but it does mean that he will invest it irrespective of place and time and without considering its outcome.
"Bangladesh and India can jointly enrich the steel sector with coordinated investment, and it is the high time to proceed (in this regard)," he noted.
Managing director of PHP Md Zahirul Islam Rinku, additional managing director of GPH Ispat Almas Shimul, executive director of BSRM Tapan Sengupta, chairman of Moulana Ispat Abul Bashar Mukul, chairman of RRM Sumon Chowdhury, chief of marketing and product development of BSRM M Firoz, CEO of Abul Khair Group V M Sharma, Pradip Kumar Ghose of SMS Steel, executive director of KSRM Inamul Huq, and Dewan Mahbub and Sobail bin Hossain of RSRM also spoke at the summit.
Adequate supply of gas and electricity must be ensured to boost production in local steel plants. Besides, 15 per cent annual growth in Chittagong Port deserves full-scale use of its existing infrastructure facilities along with installation of more equipment for further expansion, they opined.
Source: Financial Express