The government should formulate the automobile policy considering the country, region and global issues putting focus on technologies, discussants said at a virtual seminar.
They also think that the proposed automobile policy should not be taken leaving the option of reconditioned vehicles, although the demand for new cars in the country is growing.Speakers came up with the views at a webinar on “Car Market in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects” organised by the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI)and attended by economists, businessmen, car importers, researchers, government high-ups and policy makers.
Salman F Rahman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Private Sector Development Industry and Investment spoke as chief guest.
Dr. Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of PRI presented the key note paper while Dr. Zahid Hussain, Former Lead Economist of the World Bank, Abdul Haque, President of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA), Muhammad Abdul Mazid, Former Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), Dr. Masrur M. Reaz, Chairman of Policy Exchange of Bangladesh, Anwarul Alam, Joint Secretary of the Industries Ministry spoke as discussants.
The government will facilitate the potential investors for manufacturing of electrical cars in the country as different countries of the world have been coming out from the traditional fossil fuel or petrol burned cars, said.
“We should go for new technologies. The car business needs to be taken to a new level. We should concentrate more on electrical cars. If we do not move fast we will miss the bus. We should leapfrog. We should leave the petrol cars. That’s the approach we should consider,” the Adviser also said.
The roads and traffic managements must be included in the proposed Automobile Industry Development Policy 2020 by the Government because cars are very much related with the capacity of roads and traffic of any country, he said.Giving bad experience of India in leaving reconditioned cars, Dr. Ahsan Mansur said the proposed automobile policy should not be taken leaving the option of reconditioned vehicles
The Government should formulate any policy which will only create combustible industry. The government should not formulate any policy which will make the country’s car industry only a screw driving industry, he added.
Dr. Zahid Hossain said if $1 is spent in the car industry, it creates $3 value addition in the economy. Consumers need efficient, safe and eco-friendly cars, he said.
Mr. Abdul Haque, President of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) said the Government should formulate the policy considering the country, region and global issues.
“The most important issue is technologies as the developed countries like Germany, USA and Japan have been moving towards electrical cars,” he said.
Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid said the car industry has the potential to grow a lot if the new investment is made targeting the both local and export markets as well as the backward linkage industries.
Anwarul Alam said that the Government will take the opinions from different stakeholders before the policy formulation.
He said there will be an inter-ministerial meeting on the policy formulation of car industry.