BD’s economic growth depends on open waterways: Mozena

US ambassador to Dhaka Dan W Mozena Tuesday said Bangladesh’s bursting upon the global economic stage is possible only if its waters are open and safe for international shipping.

He came up with the assertion in a ambulance-boat handover ceremony at the Coast Guard Base in Chittagong.

The US envoy said, “The Bangladesh Coast Guard confronts a huge task in ensuring the nation’s maritime security. Its coastline is long, about 580 kilometers and the challenges are many: piracy, terrorism, fish thieves and smuggling of arms, drugs, and people.”

“But the Coast Guard is building an ever more effective force to ensure that the country’s waters remain open and safe for the shipping that is critical to this surging economy, to ensure that Bangladesh’s maritime assets are secure and that the nation’s people are safe,” he added.

“Bangladesh could be the next Asian Tiger in a decade or two,” Mozena opined.

He expressed his hope that relationship between two countries to be more strengthened through that transferring three 38 foot Metal Shark Defiant Class boats to the Bangladesh Coast Guard which configured to serve as ambulances.

These boats are dual purpose, capable to perform both ambulance and regular patrol duties. As ambulance boats, these boats certainly enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity as “first responder” to disasters, including cyclones and floods; these boats better enable the Coast Guard to evacuate patients, to provide medical support at sea, and to undertake prolonged search and rescue operations in response to distress calls, he added.

“These boats come as part of a package that includes spare parts and crew and officer training. Initial training has already been completed; follow-on training is scheduled for next year,” he said.

State Minister for Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku, Director-General of Bangladesh Coast Guard Rear Admiral Kazi Sarwar Hossain and Rear Admiral Thomas Carney of the United States Navy attended the function.