Lack of policy, infra challenges for efficient logistics system

Experts say at a conference

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Apr 26,2019 | Updated: 22:30, Apr 25,2019


Prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman, SDG affairs principal coordinator Md Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority chairman M Aminul Islam and Bangladesh Supply Chain Management Society president Naquib Khan are seen, among others, at a conference on ‘Logistics in Bangladesh: Challenges and Future Readiness’ organised by BIDA, in association with BSCMS, at the Radisson Blue Hotel in capital Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photo

Businesses and experts on Thursday said lack of policy, no coordination between different ministries and departments, and poor infrastructure were the challenges for establishing efficient logistics system in Bangladesh.
To attain the desired economic growth to be a developed country by 2041, the government will have to develop policy and standard operation procedure for logistics, they said at a conference on ‘Logistics in Bangladesh: Challenges and Future Readiness’.
Logistics by definition are the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, in association with Bangladesh Supply Chain Management Society, organised the event at the Radisson Blue Hotel in capital Dhaka.
‘Without proper infrastructure, logistics cannot run correctly and due to disruption in logistics, inflation goes up, cost of doing business increases and the country loses its competitive edge,’ said Syed Ershad Ahmed, managing director of Expeditors Bangladesh Limited.
He said that only maritime logistics could not fulfil the requirement of the overall logistics system, the government should also introduce multi-modal transportation system to reduce lead time and cost.
Ershad also said that Bangladesh’s policy was not supportive to multi-modal transportation system and the government should take initiatives to develop railway connectivity and air cargo system.
He recommended collaborative approach among the ministries, government agencies and other stakeholders for ensuring competent supply chain management.
Ershad suggested improving regional connectivity and introducing policy to attract investment on diversified logistics system in the country.
Mahbub Anam, managing director of Expo Lanka, said that export through air cargo increased over 100 per cent in last few years but the government did not have any priority for developing the sector.
‘In logistics index, the position of Bangladesh is the lowest in the South Asia region due to our monopolistic policy,’ he said.
He said that the aid freight cost in Singapore was lower than Bangladesh while the country’s freight price in ocean was also higher than many other neighbouring countries.
‘We ourselves create bottlenecks in the supply chain,’ he added.
Shehzad Munim, president of Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said demand forecasting was one of the challenges for Bangladesh.
‘Image issue is another challenge for Bangladesh and it is important to project our right image,’ he said.
Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, said an efficient logistics system was very crucial for achieving the economic target set by Bangladesh.
‘We have to attain double digit growth to achieve our target of becoming developed country,’ he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the event.
Salman said that the government had taken initiatives to fulfil the required development of infrastructure and all would be meaningful if the country’s logistics became efficient and cost effective.
BIDA chairman M Aminul Islam said that the new dimension of business was taking place in the globe and Bangladesh would have to repackage its competitive advantage.
He said that logistics would be the part of fourth industrial revolution, he said.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator to SDG affairs, BSCMS president Naquib Khan and IPDC Finance Ltd managing director Mominul Islam also spoke at the event, among others.

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