Sister ports in the works

Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Tan Cheng Liang (left) leading Bangladesh Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on a visit to the Penang International Cruise Terminal at the Swettenham Pier.

PENANG and Bangladesh Chittagong ports are currently in discussions to become sister ports in an effort to enhance co-operation between the two harbours.

Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Tan Cheng Liang said both parties had discussed the proposal and the commission hoped that a memorandum of understanding could be inked soon.

She said the move was an initiative to foster a closer relationship among ports elsewhere.

She said this in her speech during a visit from Bangladesh Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan to the Swettenham Pier and North Butterworth Container Terminal yesterday.

Shahjahan said he welcomed the sister port suggestion to enhance the relationship between the both states.

“Bangladesh is a developing country and the purpose of the visit is to have a greater understanding in running a modern port. Based on the knowledge, we hope to develop our own maritime sector, especially our two main seaports,” he said.

Chittagong is the bigger of Bangladesh’s two main seaports, the other is Mongla port.

Speaking to reporters during a tour of Penang International Cruise Terminal at Swettenham Pier, Tan said a sister port agreement with Chittagong would allow both parties to have a better understanding with each other.

“Aside from increasing trade between the two ports, a sister port relationship could also give us a boost in pooling together our experience and data resources, human resource training and would enhance our bilateral relationship,” she said.

Penang has previously signed a sister port pact with the Siam seaport in Thailand while the Penang port will be Chittagong’s first sister port if an agreement is signed.

By:  The Star Online

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