The Padma Bridge will make international investors, including Saudi companies, to give a serious look at Bangladesh as an investment destination
The construction of the Padma Bridge, which Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated on June 25, is a major milestone in the transformation of the economic, political, social and cultural life of the people on both sides of the winding river. This is going to prove to be a great boon for those who have been traveling on ferries or launches for so long.
The World Bank has congratulated Bangladesh on the completion of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge with domestic funding. The World Bank initially agreed to co-finance the project but later filed a case in 2012 alleging corruption. The charges were set aside in February 2017 by a Canadian court.
The Biden administration has described the bridge as another example of Bangladesh's leadership in developing regional integration in South Asia.
The 6.15-km-long road-rail four-lane bridge over the river Padma is expected to increase the dynamism of trade and commerce and improve quality of life. It connects the people of Dhaka and the southwest with the rest of the country. It is likely to increase GDP by another 1.2 percent, boost the economy and improve the supply of goods.
The inauguration of the bridge has also come in praise from many countries including China, India, Japan, Australia and Pakistan, from which Bangladesh separated in 1971 after a bloody civil war.
The Padma Bridge bears the signature of Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. Under her leadership, Bangladesh has repeatedly shown its potential.
For a developing country like Bangladesh, building such an expensive bridge with its own money is commendable. Putting an end to all speculation, when Dhaka completed its construction and inaugurated it, many countries could not help but appreciate it.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deubaa and Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering conveyed their best wishes on the successful opening of the bridge. So did Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The bridge will help open up the eyes of international investors, including Saudi Arabian companies, to give a serious look at Dhaka as an investment destination, Riyadh’s envoy to Dhaka said.
The envoys of Britain. Canada, France, Germany and many African countries also congratulated Bangladesh. The inauguration of the bridge is going to be an "unforgettable moment", said Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, Charles Whiteley.
(The author, a graduate in International Relations from Bangladesh, is a development worker and commentator on South Asian politics at a research based university students’ platform. Views are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)