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Chittagong /tʃɪtəɡɒŋ/ (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম Bengali pronunciation: [tʃɔʈʈɔgram]: Porto Grande De Bengala; Mughal Islamabad) is the second-largest city and main seaport of Bangladesh. It is located in the southeastern region of the country, at the mouth of the Karnaphuli River, straddling hilly terrain and facing the Bay of Bengal. It is an eponymous district and divisional capital. It has a population of more than 4.5 million.
Chittagong harbor was a historic gateway and trading centre of Bengal. It was recorded by Claudius Ptolemy as one of the finest ports in the Eastern world. It served as the chief port of the Sultanate of Bengal, the Kingdom of Mrauk U, Mughal Bengal and the Principality of Bengal. During the 16th-century, it was a hub for Portuguese traders. Under British rule, Chittagong was the headquarters of the Bengal and Assam Railway, and a base for Allied Forces during World War II. It witnessed rapid industrial and commercial growth after the formation of East Pakistan. The declaration of Bangladesh's independence was proclaimed from Chittagong during the Liberation War in 1971.
Chittagong is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It hosts the Port of Chittagong, which handles 80% of Bangladesh's external trade. The city is an important financial and business centre in South Asia, being home to many of the oldest and largest Bangladeshi companies, the country's most diversified industrial base, the Chittagong Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Tea Auction. It also hosts the Asian University for Women and the University of Chittagong. The port city has garnered increased strategic importance in recent years, due to its location at the crossroads of landlocked southern Asia, SAARC and ASEAN.
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