Bangladesh has the potential to accelerate its export growth significantly by bringing down logistics costs, business people, economists and logistics experts said at a workshop.
“If logistics costs can be reduced by 25%, it is possible to increase the country’s export growth by 20%,” said Martha B Lawrence, Global Lead of the Regional Connectivity and Logistics Knowledge Group at the World Bank.
Lawrence and the others revealed it while speaking at the closing session of a workshop titled “Formulation of National Logistics Industry Development Policy for Bangladesh: Experience from Global Good Practices,” organized by the industries ministry, the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), and the World Bank Group.
Mentioning that Bangladesh ranks 100th out of 160 countries in the Logistics Performance Index, she also said it is possible to reduce the cost of logistics by coordinating the road communication system by reducing traffic congestion and modernizing the trucking system.
“Now is the right time to take integrated initiatives for rail and waterway systems to develop a multi modal logistics system,” she added.
The speakers underlined the importance of logistics efficiency, quality of logistics, improvement of the logistics infrastructure, and regional connectivity to formulate the National Logistics Industry Development Policy to develop a balanced multi modal transport system.
They also said initiatives need to be taken to update and implement the policy by portraying dedicated development strategies for different modes of transportation addressing.
Shipping Secretary Md Mostafa Kamal pointed out that harmonized coordination among the public, private, and development partners is the single key to reaching the multi modal logistics management system to a global height.
At the event, Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said there is no alternative to ensure transport cost efficiency without the modern railway system. Ongoing projects of the Ministry of Railways will connect Bangladesh to Trans-Asian Railway Network and that will lead to exploring new export markets with diversified products.
To make Bangladesh a multi modal logistics hub of the South Asian region, the railway ministry will extend all possible assistance in a coordinated manner, he added.
BUILD Chairperson Nihad Kabir highly appreciated the initiatives of the railway ministry for taking several policy reforms and projects to improve the freight and passenger transportation management system in Bangladesh.