Bangladesh has taken various initiatives to improve its tourism potential, with a vision of becoming an important tourist destination in South East Asia. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) identified four (04) tourism projects to be implemented under PPP model through international bidding process. On 14 March 2019 a Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on PPP projects in tourism sector was organized by PPP Authority in cooperation with the Sylhet Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) in Sylhet. Vibrant presence of the potential Investors including the members of SCCI made the event a tremendous success. Muhammad Alkama Siddiqui, CEO of PPP Authority graced the event as the Chief Guest while M. Kazi Emdadul Islam, Deputy Commission of Sylhet chaired this auspicious event. Among the other distinguished guests, Khandker Shiper Ahmed, President, SCCI, Sharnalata Roy, President of Sylhet Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Md. Abul Bashar, Director General, Investment Promotion, PPP Authority, Mirana Mahrukh, Director, Investment Promotion, PPP Authority, M Murshed Haider, Consultant, PPP Authority and officials from BPC were also present in the occasion.
In his opening speech, Abul Bashar, Director General, Investment Promotion, PPP Authority gave on overview on how PPP works and how the private investors can get involved with such projects and contribute towards the development of tourism sector in Bangladesh. Mirana Mahrukh, Director, Investment Promotion, PPP Authority mentioned in her speech that Sylhet is an important tourist destination in Bangladesh and apart from its scenic tea plantations and the lush green tropical forests, the region is also well-known for its handicrafts, tropical forest, waterfalls, lakes and ethnic tribes and how all of these impart significant tourism potential to Sylhet. She then requested M Murshed Hiader, Consultant, PPP Authority to give a brief presentation on the four tourism projects to be implemented under PPP model..
Murshed gave a brief presentation on four tourism projects namely, International Standard Tourism Complex in Sylhet, Development of International Standard Tourism Complex at Cox’s Bazar, Establishment of Three Star Standard Hotel and Other Facilities of Existing Hotel Pashur Compound of BPC at Mongla, Bagerhat and Development of International Standard Hotel cum Training Centre at Muzgunni, Khulna, Bangladesh. Since the Sylhet tourism project was much more relevant for the event participants, details on the project location, scope of the project, development obligations, evaluation criteria and tentative timelines were discussed and shared with the guests. The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A Question where the interactive discussion took place between potential investors and PPP Authority officials.
Special Guest Khandker Shiper Ahmed, President, Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industries thanked PPP Authority for the presentation and suggested to conduct another workshop in London, UK to explore the large group of NRB investors. He also put emphasis on improving the communication system and requested Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation to come up with solutions like tourist buses and other facilities to attract the local and foreign tourists. Chief Guest, Muhammad Alkama Siddiqui, CEO of PPP Authority, in his speech, talked about importance of tourism sector for such a beautiful country like Bangladesh and requested all types of stakeholders such as researchers, media, tourism clubs, investors to participate actively to unleash the huge potential in this sector. He also suggested to explore the potentials of spiritual tourism as well as medical tourism in Sylhet. The Chair of the event M. Kazi Emdadul Islam, Deputy Commission of Sylhet thanked the guests and participants for making the event successful. He suggested SCCI to organize a separate workshop specifically on tourism sector since there were number of interesting queries and observations from the audience.
On behalf of PPP Authority, Mirana Mahrukh, Director, Investment Promotion gave a vote of thanks and requested the participants to follow the website of PPP Authority for any information and updates.