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‘Strong logistics can spur economic growth’

Published : Thursday, 28 July, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 375
Business Correspondent

Strong logistics and supply chain management are inevitable to spur a country's economic growth. Moreover enhanced port facilities, smooth transportation network and automation of system are inevitable to spurt local and foreign direct investments.
Speakers made these observations at a policy dialogue titled "Logistics Sector of Bangladesh-Opportunities and Concerns" organized by American Chambers of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) in a city hotel on Wednesday.
A panel discussion moderated by Dr Masrur Reaz, Chairman, Policy Exchange of Bangladesh dwelt with the issues participated by Kabir Ahmed, President, Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA), Naquib Khan, President, Bangladesh Supply Chain Management Society and Mamum Habib, Professor of Independent University who also presented key note paper.
The AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed said logistics plays a crucial role in maintaining a balance between supply and demand. The sector brings a competitive advantage for customers by reducing transportation cost through consolidation, ensuring quality, timely delivery, and giving end-to-end visibility.
He said disruption in logistics affect the economy, causes inflation, low productivity and related economic aspects. The logistics industries in Bangladesh have been thriving for years in line with the steady growth of exports and imports.
Currently both the foreign and local logistics companies are significantly contributing to the country's economic growth. They have been investing in infrastructure development and technological advancement, adding value to the locally produced commodities, and playing a critical role as a catalyst in enhancing Foreign Direct Investment, he said.
Ershad Ahmed said in the last financial year the country crossed $50b export mark and set up a new export target of $ 67b both from goods and services.
With economic growth Bangladesh's logistics industry is highly progressive. Yet Bangladesh needs to address some key challenges like policy development and implementation, Infrastructure development, procedural improvement. Increased management efficiency is also core areas to address, he said.
Bottlenecks include outdated legislation, slow automation in ports and airports, inadequate warehousing, and nonexistence of a cold chain which are hampering the optimum level growth, he said adding use of artificial intelligence, drones and robots, electric vehicles and on-demand delivery are some of the issues that need to be quickly resolved to enter into an era of modern logistics industry.
Prof Dr Mamun Habib, said Chittagong port is the main gateway of trade handling 85 per cent of Bangladesh trade. He emphasized on improving infrastructure, trade regulation and trained manpower. There is a long queue and congestions of truck in the port's container depots. Kabir Ahmed along with private sector investments the government also should take care of the logistic sector.
Naquib Khan said, "We are growing faster but there are few issues need to be solved quickly. Chattagram port is one of them. Lead time is still high. I must say logistics part of total supply chain."
Participants in the panel discussion raised issues of scanning machines, security measures, high tech laboratories in the ports, adequate cargo handling facilities ports and airports. In the dialogue chamber leaders, economists, former bureaucrats, business people and AmCham senior office bearers took part.







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