The World Bank will provide $150 million in concessional loan to Bangladesh to modernise its trade-related infrastructure for enhancing regional connectivity and trade with India, Bhutan and Nepal.
Economic Relations Division of the finance ministry and the World Bank on Thursday signed a financing agreement for implementation of the Bangladesh Regional Connectivity Project 1.
Under the project, four land ports — Bhomra, Sheola, Ramgarh and Benapole — will be developed and improved as the land ports are key to facilitating regional and transit trade, especially with India, said a press release issued by the Washington-based multilateral lending agency.
The project will help the country increase trade and freight volumes and reduce truck clearance time at border posts, it said adding that truck clearance time at the Bhomra land port would be reduced by 83 per cent to 12
hours from the existing 72 hours.
The project will also develop a National Single Window allowing traders to submit all import, export and transit information through a single electronic gateway.
ERD secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank country director Qimiao Fan signed the agreement at ERD auditorium in Dhaka.
Qimiao said Bangladesh has enormous potential to increase trade with its neighbours, particularly with India. Currently, Bangladesh’s trade with India is only less than half of its current potential, he said.
The credit is interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and will carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent.
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