Dhaka will roll out its first 'Made in Bangladesh' cars next year, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said today.
"The Automobile Industry Development Policy 2020 will be finalised very soon. We will start making cars in Bangladesh from next year," the minister said during an exclusive interview with UNB.
According to the minister, the state-owned Pragati Industries Limited will start manufacturing the automobiles with technical assistance from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan.
Nurul also said that the Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki had told him in a meeting that the east Asian country's automobile industry entrepreneurs, including Mitsubishi Corporation, "are interested in increasing investments in Bangladesh".
"He [Ito Naoki] also said that Japan would provide technical assistance for the production of Bangladesh's own brand of motor vehicles. He further offered to assist Bangladesh in developing the vendor industry related to automobile and light engineering industries and setting up an Automobile Testing & Research Institute in Bangladesh," the minister said.
The Ministry of Industries has already formulated a time-bound action plan for the development of automobile and other industries in the country. "This action plan will play an important role in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)," he also said.
On the advantages of domestic car production, he said that foreign cars cost more for end-users due to import duty that is quite high in this country.
"If cars are made in Bangladesh, their prices will also decrease. People will be able to buy it at affordable prices. If the country produces its own brand of automobiles, there will be no shortage of buyers too," he said.
Hailing the youths of the country as "an innovative workforce", the minister said, "If this industry is developed by utilising them [the youth], the opportunity to export motor cars and motorcycles to the world market will also be created after meeting the domestic demand."