PRABRIDDHI, a local economic development (LED) project jointly funded by Switzerland and the Government of Bangladesh, has expanded its intervention into Cox’s Bazar municipality in an effort to foster sustainable economic development at a local level. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the project and the municipality for this expansion on Monday (19 February 2024).

Home to a population of 167,477 residents, Cox’s Bazar Municipality boasts the distinction of being adjacent to the world’s longest natural sea beach, attracting millions of local and foreign tourists annually. Despite challenges posed by the Rohingya migrant influx, the municipality has seen a surge in development officials and foreign visitors, contributing significantly to its economic growth.

Recent data reveals Cox’s Bazar municipality hosts over 520 hotels, motels, guest houses, and cottages, accommodating more than 120,000 guests. The tourism sector, a vital component of According to Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), the country’s economy has witnessed substantial growth, contributing 3% to the GDP in 2019. Cox’s Bazar’s economy thrives on non-agricultural sectors, including trade, services, construction, and fishing, providing diverse employment opportunities.

With its strategic geographical location and availability of semi-skilled labor, Cox’s Bazar Municipality stands poised for further Local Economic Development (LED), leveraging its comparative and competitive advantages to fuel sustainable growth.

Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury, the Mayor of Cox’s Bazar expressed enthusiasm for the commencement of the PRABRIDDHI project in the municipality, emphasizing its significance for fostering sustainable economic development. Highlighting the importance of LED initiatives like PRABRIDDHI, the Mayor underscored their role in empowering local communities, stimulating entrepreneurship, and promoting inclusive growth. By leveraging Cox’s Bazar’s unique assets and fostering public-private partnerships, the municipality aims to unlock its full potential, driving prosperity for residents and contributing to Bangladesh’s broader economic vision. The mayor articulated a commitment to embarking on a transformative journey towards a brighter, more resilient future.

Markus Ehman, the team leader of PRABRIDDHI, expressed optimism about the project’s expansion into Cox’s Bazar municipality, emphasizing its potential to catalyze sustainable economic growth. He emphasized the significance of local economic development (LED) initiatives in empowering communities and driving inclusive progress. He further highlighted PRABRIDDHI’s commitment to leveraging strategic partnerships and local resources to unlock opportunities and address economic disparities. He reiterated the project’s dedication to supporting Cox’s Bazar in realizing its economic potential and contributing to Bangladesh’s broader development goals.

Co-implemented by Local Government Division (LGD) and Swisscontact, the PRABRIDDHI project is currently being implemented in seven municipalities.

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