Chittagong is Bangladesh's second-largest city and the country's major coastal seaport city and financial centre. The natural harbour of Chittagong has been a gateway to the historic region of Bengal for centuries. It was a prominent trading centre and hosted the first European colonial enclaves in Bengal, which were operated by the Portuguese in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Port of Chittagong is the largest international seaport on the Bay of Bengal. The city is home to many of Bangladesh's oldest and largest companies, as well as the Chittagong Stock Exchange, the Chittagong Tea Auction and the eastern division of the Bangladesh Railway. The Chittagong Naval Area is the largest base of the Bangladesh Navy.