Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech on Thursday said the country can increase its gross domestic product (GDP) by two percent by utilizing resources in the Bay of Bengal.
Terming blue economy as the new horizon of opportunities, the finance minister in his budget speech, which was read by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as Kamal was feeling unwell, said through the conquest of the sea in the historic judgement by the International for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Bangladesh received exclusive rights to 1 lakh 18 thousand 813 sq. km of sea from neighboring Myanmar and India, which is almost equivalent to the size of Bangladesh.“There are more than 13 heavy mineral resources in the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal which are very valuable. In addition, there are 475 species of fish, and 36 species of prawn, and sea algae, etc. By utilizing these resources, it is possible to increase our GDP by two percent,” the budget speech read.
“The proposed strategies for proper utilization of this resources with immense potential are- quick completion of multi-dimensional survey of marine resources, increase of coastal ships and modernization of sea ports and their capacity enhancement, intensify fishing in both deep-sea and shallow coastal waters, introduction of sea eco-tourism and boat tourism in the private sector, and keeping sea coasts and sea ports pollution-free,” it added.