Sector: Transport/Rail Total Cost: $163 Million Status: Ongoing
Sector, policy, and capacity building reforms are helping Bangladesh Railway become more commercially focused. Three loan tranches have supported investment subprojects, including double-tracking of the 65 kilometer Tongi-Bhairab Bazar section of the...
Sector: Transport/Ports Total Cost: $1 Million Status: Ongoing
As the principal seaport of Bangladesh, handling about 92% of its import-export trade, Chittagong Port has an important role in the transport sector of the national economy. This technical assistance will prepare a master plan to improve port...
Sector: Transport/Road Total Cost: $950,000 Status: Ongoing
This technical assistance improves two project roads, the Bogra-Natore Road and Bhatiapara-Benapole Road, contributing to infrastructure development along the identified transport corridor. This improvement program helps meet increased demands for...
Sector: Transport/Rail Total Cost: $1.50 Million Status: Ongoing
This project preparatory technical assistance provides additional studies for processing the Investment Program, updates design by Bangladesh Railway, and supports the procurement phase of the project. The project could help create a logistics chain...
Sector: Transport/Road Total Cost: $500,000 Status: Completed
This technical assistance recommended physical improvements in the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) area to facilitate container clearance processes, as well as measures to improve CPA’s capabilities in environmental management. It also aimed to...
Bangladesh is a founding member of the SASEC Program, joining with Bhutan, India, and Nepal in 2001 to form this project-based partnership. The Maldives and Sri Lanka became full members of SASEC in May 2014, following several years as active Observers.
The Seventh Five Year Plan FY2016-F2020 of the Government of Bangladesh begins with the country's entry into the ranks of middle income countries. Placing emphasis on accelerating growth and empowering citizens, core targets of the Seventh Plan include reduction of extreme poverty, improvement of exports, investment in infrastructure in peri-urban growth centers around Special Economic Zones, increasing installed electricity generation capacity, and improvement of the country's multimodal transport network. Regional cooperation will be pursued to harness hydropower, to contribute to the goal of providing reliable electricity to all. To achieve the target growth of 8% by 2020, the transport sector aims to fast-track a number of transformational infrastructure investments, promote regional connectivity, and support the Trans-Asian Highway Project.
SASEC Projects in Bangladesh
Since 2005, the Government of Bangladesh has signed 14 ADB-financed SASEC investment projects worth around $3.9 billion.
Source: SASEC Project Portfolio, as of January 2019
Bangladesh: SASEC Project Portfolio, as of January 2019
In addition to the projects, ADB-financed technical assistance has supported SASEC investment projects in Bangladesh, regional cooperation forums, and knowledge-sharing initiatives, and pilot projects since 2001. A total of 11 national technical assistance projects (cumulative worth of around $9.9 million) have assisted Bangladesh in project preparation, strategic planning, and capacity building.
Direction of Intra-regional Trade
The value of Bangladesh's merchandise exports and imports trade with other SASEC member countries, using International Monetary Fund data from 2017, is captured in the tables below.
Bangladesh's top import source, ranking 2nd worldwide, is India, with imported goods valued at nearly $7.3 billion.
Bangladesh's top export destination in South Asia, and its 15th worldwide, is India, with exports valued at $558 million.
Source: IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, as of May 2018
Bangladesh Trade - ImportSource: IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, as of May 2018
Bangladesh Trade - ExportSource: IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, as of May 2018
Ease of Doing Business
Bangladesh moved to 176 among 190 countries in the Doing Business Report, up a notch from the previous year. The country continues to invest in its electricity grid over the past year and has been increasing the network capacity in Chattogram and Dhaka since 2015.
Source: Doing Business, accessed December 2018
Note: The World Bank/International Finance Corporation's annual flagship Doing Business Report measures the ease of doing business by ranking economies from 1 to 190, based on quantitative indicator sets that can be compared across economies and over time, with first place being the best and indicating a regulatory environment is conducive to business operation. Of immediate relevance to SASEC aims and goals are indicator sets on Starting a Business, and Trading across Borders.
Logistics Performance Index (LPI)
The overall LPI score of 2.58 for Bangladesh in 2018 ranks it at 100 out of 168 economies. Bangladesh posted its best scores in timeliness (2.92), tracking and tracing (2.79), and international shipments (2.56). The country’s 2018 LPI score roughly reflects the South Asia regional average of 2.51.
Source: World Bank LPI (accessed December 2018)
Note: The LPI overall score reflects perceptions of a country's logistics based on six core dimensions: (i) efficiency of customs clearance process, (ii) quality of trade- and transport-related infrastructure, (iii) ease of arranging competitively priced shipments, (iv) quality of logistics services, (v) ability to track and trace consignments, and (vi) frequency with which shipments reach the consignee within the scheduled time. The scores for the six areas are averaged across all respondents and aggregated to a single score using principal components analysis. A higher score indicates better performance.
Growth exceeded expectations despite slower export expansion and declining remittances in Bangladesh. Inflation eased, but the current account fell into deficit. Growth is expected to moderate in fiscal year 2018 as growth slows in agriculture and services. Inflation will edge up. Sustained high growth demands an expanded industrial base and a diversified export basket.Source: Asian Development Outlook 2018 (ADB)
Outlook in Bangladesh is broadly positive. Real GDP grew by 7.3% in FY2017. Inflation appears to be stabilizing in line with official targets at 6%, following an increase in food supply. Headline inflation is projected to stay at current levels. Maintaining growth will become more challenging, and will require increased investment and upgrading of policy-making institutions.Source: South Asia Regional Update, January 2018 (IMF)