Dhaka, 14 September 2023:  Experts at a seminar in the capital today have called for simplification of customs clearance process for the improvement of logistics Sector in the country.

They have also called for modernization of ports and enhancing the capacity of railway and inland water transport.

Prime Minister’s Office and Economic Relations Division (ERD) jointly organized the seminar themed on ‘Logistics Sector of Bangladesh: Challenges and Way Forward’.

Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah attended the seminar as chief guest. Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Mr. Tapan Kanti Ghosh was present as special guest. ERD Secretary Ms. Sharifa Khan chaired the event.

Logistics sector plays a crucial role in enhancing productivity and investment. Improvement in logistics sector can lead to decrease in the cost of doing business and production as well as reduction in the cost and time of business transactions. Hence, it is observed that Improvement of logistic sector will not only help to achieve a smooth and sustainable LDC graduation for Bangladesh but can also facilitate achieving other national development goals.

The government has already taken various steps for improvement of the logistics sector of the country. A high-powered committee titled “National Logistics Development and Coordination Committee”, headed by Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister has been formed for overall development of logistics sector.

In this context, the seminar was organized to identify the gaps and challenges in logistics sector; as well as to discuss the strategies and way forward for formulating a National Logistics Policy for necessary improvement in this arena.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah said that the National Logistics Policy that the country would formulate should be action oriented. He also called for initiating the process of necessary reforms in this sector.   He urged for the active participation of private sector in this process.

ERD Secretary Ms. Sharifa Khan, in her speech, put emphasis on providing policy support for trade facilitation as well as enhancing the competitiveness of export-oriented sectors to prepare the country for post- LDC scenario.

Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Mr. Tapan Kanti Ghosh, in his speech, put emphasis on decreasing the lead time in export.

Chairman of the Policy Exchange Bangladesh Dr. M. Masrur Reaz, in his keynote presentation, informed that Bangladesh’s freight traffic volume is projected to increase seven times by FY 2040-41 from what it was back in FY 2020-21.

He also observed that there are huge investment potentials in various fields of Bangladesh’s logistics sector.

Welcoming the participants to the seminar, Additional Secretary of ERD and Project Director of SSGP Mr. Farid Aziz informed that the government has taken various measures to ensure a smooth and sustainable transition from LDC status.

Member of the National Board of Revenue Mr. Md Masud Sadiq, Chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail, President of the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) Mr. Syed Nasim Manzur, Executive President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Mr. Mohammad Hatem and Senior Private Sector Specialist of the International Finance Corporation Mr. Mohammad Lutfullah spoke during the event as panelists.

Senior officials from government ministries, agencies and research institutions, representatives from relevant trade associations and think tanks attended the workshop.