Underlining the importance of formulating a national logistics policy to enhance trade competitiveness, experts said efficient logistics management has a stronger effect on trade promotion than tariff cuts.
They made this observation while taking part in a recent webinar organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), titled, ‘Logistics: Issues and Challenges in cross-border trade of Bangladesh’.
Participating in the discussion, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA), Dr. Rubana Huq, said to improve logistics services strong inter-ministerial coordination is needed between the National Board of Revenue, Commerce and Finance, port authorities and other related ministries while underlining the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Bangladesh to boost its exports.
Our trade will grow significantly if we join the ASEAN, said Dr. Rubana, adding by 2030 ASEAN will become the fourth largest economy globally.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Model (SANEM), Selim Raihan while maintaining that Bangladesh ranks lowest on the global logistics performance index amongst all its peer countries said issues related to customs and non-automation, tariff and para-tariff in trade and border issues are amongst some major reasons behind Bangladesh’s poor ranking in this direction.
Moderating the discussion, the President of DCCI, Shams Mahmud stated that a study carried out by DCCI found lack of port infrastructure, container congestion, delays in customs clearance process, port demurrage charges and high shipping costs as major challenges to export/import processes and consequently increasing the operation cost.