Bangladesh needs to improve its transport and logistics systems to meet the needs of its growing economy and to boost export growth, according to a recent World Bank report called ‘Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to Sustain Bangladesh’s Success, which found that by making logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly boost export growth.

It can also maintain its position as a leading readymade garment (RMG) and textile producer and create more jobs by doing the same, according to a report from the bank.

The report notes that congestion on roads and in seaports, high logistics costs, inadequate infrastructure, distorted logistics service markets and fragmented governance hamper manufacturing and freight, further eroding Bangladesh’s competitive edge and putting its robust growth path at risk.

“Bangladesh’s congested transportation and often unsophisticated logistics systems impose high costs to the economy,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “By making its logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly optimize its connectivity, business environment, and competitiveness, putting the country on the right path to become a dynamic upper-middle-income country.”

Efficient logistics, the report argues, has become one of the main drivers for global trade competitiveness and export growth and diversification. For Bangladesh, improving its logistics performance provides an opportunity to increase its world market share in garments and textiles, which account for 84 percent of its total exports, expand into new markets, and diversify its manufacturing and agriculture into high-value products.

The report notes that improving Bangladesh’s logistics requires a system-wide approach based on greater coordination among all public institutions involved in logistics and with the private sector, increasing the effective capacity of core infrastructure, and removing distortions in logistics service markets to reduce costs and improve quality. At a regional level, harmonizing its logistics systems and aligning its customs with that of its neighbours could turn Bangladesh into an important node for regional freight flows and further boost its trade.