Logistics infrastructure key to trade competitiveness

Speakers say at DCCI webinar

Staff Correspondent

23 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Development of adequate, diverse logistics infrastructure including ports, multimodal sub-regional transport connectivity is important to improve trade competitiveness and secure low-cost trade potentials with South and South East Asian markets, speakers said.

Discussants came up with the views at a virtual seminar organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Tuesday.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq joined the webinar as the guest of honour while DCCI President Shams Mahmud moderated the webinar.

Focusing on the best utilization of full capacity of ports, Rubana Huq said Bangladesh needs to have an internal index of competitiveness and it needs to be monitored regularly. In terms of improvement in logistics performance, inward FDI and intra-regional trade are also important, she said.

BGMEA president also suggested adopting ASEAN plus one policy to connect with the trade of this region.

Regarding pilferage in the bonded warehouse, she urged for ensuring punishment for the ill doers.

“Logistics facilitation enhances countries' trade competitiveness through making on-time trading of goods and services with lower transaction costs. Efficient logistics enhances countries' competitive edge substantially reducing cost of doing business,” said DCCI president Shams Mahmud.

The efficient logistics management has a stronger effect on trade promotion than tariff cuts. Despite remarkable economic progress, Bangladesh lags behind competing countries in terms of logistics infrastructure competitiveness, he added. He also recommended for automated customs clearance process, integrated port infrastructure with larger storage facility, handling facility and terminal.

Among others, SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan, Policy Exchange Chairman Dr. M Masrur Reaz, and Chairman of the Policy Research Institute (PRI) Dr Zaidi Sattar also spoke on the occasion.