Govt takes step to formulate logistics policy: Principal Secy
DHAKA, Feb 09, 2023 (BSS) – Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Tofazzel Hossain Miah today informed that the government has already taken an initiative to formulate a logistics policy to ensure more competitiveness of Bangladeshi products in world market.
“We have to work seriously on logistics. In Bangladesh, we still don’t have a logistics policy. But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently formed a committee under the leadership of the principal secretary with the participation of the private sector to formulate a logistics policy,” he said.
The principal secretary said this while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on ‘Contemporary Global Economic Scenario: Challenges and way forward for EPZ Enterprises in Bangladesh’ at Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) conference room in the city.
BEPZA Executive Chairman Major General Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman delivered the welcome speech while Chairman of the Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque delivered the key note speech.
President of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Investors’ Association (BEPZIA) Shahadat Musharraf Khan, Additional Director of the Bangladesh Bank Mohammad Iftakhar Awal Bhuiyan and Member (Customs Export, Bond and IT) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Hossain Ahmed took part in the discussion on keynote paper.
In his speech, Tofazzel Hossain Miah laid emphasis on diversification of Bangladesh’s export basket in order to sustain accelerated economic growth, increase investment opportunities, and create more jobs.
“We have to make our basket bigger. We have to explore all the areas. We have many areas to improve. Private sector is the engine of growth,” he added.
Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman said the aftermath of the strict lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Russian-Ukraine War coupled with sanction and counter-sanctioned by the economic giants have put the world into a situation of economic turmoil and uncertainty.
Energy crisis, food insecurity, inflation, etc. have impacted the global trade to a downturn, he added.
Naturally, he said, Bangladesh is also experiencing the shock of this economic uproar. “Slowdown in economic activity and uncertainty at the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdown had a negative impact on Bangladesh’s economy,” he added.
He said the country’s export-oriented industries have reduced by 6.12 percent in 2020 due to the restriction policy during the pandemic period, leading to job losses and reduced foreign currency earnings.
The domino effect of the Russian-Ukraine war has contributed to instability in the region and reduced demand for exports from countries like Bangladesh, he added.
Therefore, he said, it is a pivotal time to closely study the ongoing economic ups and downs and explore the challenges therein, especially for the EPZ enterprises.
Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said technological advancement is already impacting the way global trade takes place, and slow adaptation will undermine export competitiveness.
“Automation and deepening of capital-intensive production processes mean subdued employment generation. As Bangladesh’s overall export is relatively small, creating jobs through export expansion will remain an important policy objective,” he added.
He said investment in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is increasingly becoming a precondition for export success with an ever-increasing awareness among consumers and investors.
“Building competitiveness is key to success. There are many ingredients of it including, domestic policies (from domestic protection to exchange rate management to various regulatory practices); preferential market access; adequate and effective physical, social, and technological infrastructure; skilled workforce; easing administrative bottlenecks; tackling excessive costs of doing business; etc,” he added.