To gather inputs from national and international experts for an integrated and efficient Logistics Industry Development Policy and to frame a holistic system both in terms of infrastructure and service development a workshop on “Formulation of National Logistics Industry Development Policy for Bangladesh: Experience from Global Good Practices” was organized by the Ministry of Industries (MoI), Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), and the World Bank Group (WBG) at the InterContinental on November 16-17, 2022 in Dhaka.
The workshop aimed to present good global practices in formulating the proposed National Logistics Industry Development Policy and gathering expert opinions from national and international sectoral specialists, stakeholders, public sector representatives, and development partners.
In the first session of the closing days on 17 November 2022 titled “Balancing Multimodal Transport System for Logistics Competitiveness” two keynotes were presented by A B M Amin Ullah Nuri, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division, and Martha B Lawrence, Global Lead of the Regional Connectivity and Logistics Knowledge Group at the World Bank while Md. Mostafa Kamal, Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping grace the session as chair.
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The Secretary of RTHD informed that initiatives need to be taken to update and implement the National Integrated Multimodal Transport Policy 2013 by portraying dedicated development strategies for different modes of transportation addressing.
WB representative in her keynote requested a comprehensive focus on logistics efficiency, quality of logistics, improvement of the logistics infrastructure, and regional connectivity while formulating the National Logistics Industry Development Policy to develop a balanced multimodal transport system.
By considering the improvement of the logistics scenario as one of the most priority issues, the government has taken several mega projects. But, without the full automation of the Customs and NBR procedure, all the initiatives will go into vain. Harmonized coordination among the public, private, and development partners is the single key to reaching the multimodal logistics management system to a global height, pointed out by Md. Mostafa Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping.
The government of India has invested 99,000 crore rupees through the Sagarmala PPD Model Project to ensure port-led economic growth by considering their potential coastal areas, informed by Abul Kasem Khan, Co-chair of LIDWC, BUILD. Policymakers should consider the global good practices and strategies of India, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. to design the nation’s logistics policy and strategy. Necessary policy reforms need to be ensured by removing the regulatory bottlenecks to attract waited for domestic and foreign investment in the logistics sector. “National Forum for Formulating National Logistics Industry Development Policy” would be formed where LIDWC will provide research assistance with the support of World Bank Group, he added.
Md. Nurul Islam Sujan MP, Hon'ble Minister, Ministry of Railways graced the closing session of the workshop as chief guest. 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 multimodal logistics hub of the South Asian region, the Ministry of Railways will extend all possible assistance in a coordinated manner, assured by the Hon’ble Railways Minister.
Chair of the closing session, Nihad Kabir, BUILD Chairperson highly appreciated the initiatives of the Ministry of Railways for taking several policy reforms and projects to improve the freight and passenger transportation management system in Bangladesh.
Dr Shomik Raj Mehndiratta, Practice Manager, Transport, South Asia, World Bank informed that as the development partner of Bangladesh Government, they have been assisting in the infrastructure development of rail, road, waterways, bay terminal, land port modernization, etc. Now it is high time to focus on the private sector’s demanded regulatory reforms to ensure sustainable development of the logistics scenario in Bangladesh.
Martin Holtmann, Country Manager (Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal), IFC, highly appreciated the improvement of the logistics environment of Bangladesh in the last few years by implementing policy reforms and infrastructure projects that will ultimately put huge momentum in GDP and economic growth of the nations by reducing the logistic cost. IFC will be glad to provide all sorts of assistance to formulate a national logistics industry development policy, he added.
An outcome report of the workshop will be prepared and presented by BUILD through the upcoming meeting of the Logistics Infrastructure Development Working Committee at the Prime Minister’s Office very soon when all the speakers of the two-day workshop will be invited to validate the placed recommendations and way forwards to formulate a visionary National Logistics Industry Development Policy of Bangladesh, addressed by Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD as the wrap-up remarks of the workshop.
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