Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun today (18 April 2021) urged the private sector and foreign investors to set up spare parts and tools manufacturing units in the country’s Economic Zones (EZs).
“Purchasing power is increasing day by day. Government is relentlessly working for the industrialization of the country,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a webinar on “Automobile Industry Development: Present Situation and Future Prospects”, said a press release.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organized the webinar.
Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Ito Naoki took part at the webinar as the special guest while DCCI President Rizwan Rahman delivered the welcome speech.
Humayun urged the foreign investors to invest more in the automobile sector. Research and innovation in this sector are more important, he added.
The Minister also said that if needed a comprehensive policy will be pursued especially for this industry.
Ito Naoki said Bangladesh has a strong possibility to establish its own local automobile industry. “When we talk about export diversification, the automobile, light engineering and agriculture-based sector can play a vital role,” he said.
He informed that Japanese Mitsubishi Motors showed interest to invest in Bangladesh in the CKD assembling plant.
He said Mitsubishi and the Ministry of Industries came to an agreement last month to sign a MoU to conduct a joint feasibility study on the viability of investment.
It will create technology transfer and employment opportunities for Bangladesh, he added. He also urged for policy support, tax benefits and incentives to grow the industry.
Rizwan Rahman said at least 5-10 years sustaining tariff policy should be taken to support the local vehicle assembling and manufacturing industry.
“Bangladesh’s automobile sector is mainly dominated by imported reconditioned and new vehicles mostly from Japan, China, India, Europe and the USA. Considering the growing market demand, local and foreign investors are now showing interests to invest in the automobile industry,” he added.
He said prior to the COVID-19, the automobile market was growing by 15 percent to 20 percent with 12 percent growth in auto parts yearly.
Despite having potential, he said, the absence of long-term policy and consistent tax structure, lack of domestic source of raw materials and relevant skilled human resources, as well as- inadequate backward linkage limit the automobile manufacturing industry development.
He also urged for a long-term policy and a minimum 5-10 years sustaining tariff policy to support the assembling and manufacturing of vehicles. He also echoed for a separate Automobile Zone and allowing joint ventures for parts manufacturing to create local experts.
Among others, Deputy Managing Director of the IFAD Taskeen Ahmed, Economic and Indo-Pacific Affairs Unit Chief of the US Embassy John D Dunham, Managing Director of the Pragati Industries Md Touhiduzzaman, among others, spoke on the occasion.