6 years ago

Bangladesh a least attractive logistics market

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Bangladesh has been ranked one of the least attractive logistics markets in the world  by a global think tank. 'Agility Global  Integrated Logistics' with support from 'Transport Intelligence' prepared the index of 50 emerging economies based on a survey on more than 800 logistics-industry professionals.
Based in the UK, the think tank is known to be  a market leader delivering  logistics intelligence through a range of innovative reports, databases and interactive websites. And, as the rankings go by such high profile think tanks,  these are not unalloyed   academic research or intellectual pursuits nor are they claimed  to be so. They have a purpose to do competitive reckonings to help steer business and investment in a useful direction based on informed judgments. A certain level of professional integrity, authenticity and credibility is supposed to be built in such a  global ranking activity.      
At any rate, in the present case of attractive market rankings, there's been   a supply-chain and logistics providers' interest at play. And it is also dealing with emerging economies, so it has to be objective -- unblemished by subjectivity.    
Unfortunately, Bangladesh is not only labelled the least attractive logistics market but has also been stuck at 27th position among 50 emerging countries for a couple of years. Other emerging markets are closing the gaps with the perennial favourite like China. India ranks next to China.
Saudi Arabia has achieved dramatic gains over the past five years-from No. 9 in 2010 to 2 in 2015. Strategic economic planning, growing domestic demand, larger foreign exchange reserve and reduction in public debt to zero  have  made the difference  there. On the count of domestic demand and Forex reserve, Bangladesh commends itself well  if you take the Saudi cue. Of  Brazil, on the other hand, where the situation   is somewhat analogous to that in  Bangladesh it throws up a few lessons. With a large middle class and a young population the country continues to be plagued by poor infrastructure.     
The 'Agility' news  may be  upsetting but the details are not. Three matrices have been used to assess and rank 45 emerging economies: Attractiveness makes up 50 per cent of the overall score. Compatibility and connectedness each accounts for 25per cent.
Bangladesh  has performed relatively  well in term of the market size and   growth attractiveness. It has also done moderately well insofar as market compatibility goes.
But its performance  was  dismal  when it  came to market connectedness. A country's domestic and international  transport infrastructures and how well they connect with one another have been a critical determining pull  factor for its market. By this criterion, the country  stands at 47th out of 50 emerging economies  coming under the microscope.
In this context, it sounds like a harsh finding that apparently less than two percent of the surveyed respondents ranked Bangladesh as a major logistics market of the future.
This is a rather bleak portrayal of Bangladesh's future in term of  domestic and international infrastructural  connectivities without any rhyme or reason. Internally, leave aside the massive fly-overs, metro rail projects in Dhaka, the Padma Bridge, multi-linear highways and restoration of old railway lines   would enhance connectedness.
Then you take into account the warm water ports like refurbished Chittagong and Mongla ports with two value additions  of vastly modernised Pyara Bandar, and of course, the projected and prized Deep Sea port at Sonadia , the horizon is far from empty . 
Actually, Bangladesh's geopolitical location as the bridge-head between South and Southeast Asia makes it a hub of road-rail arterial linkages. Little wonder, collective farsight of China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan depending upon their locations are moving along a pathway towards BCIM (Bangladesh,China,India and Myanmar) corridor and BIMSTEC meaning Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Cooperation and the like.
Strings of Special Economic Zones  are planned to come up in five to ten  years' time  across the country which will  augur extremely well  for  balanced yet diversified industrialisation of the country connected to the wide world.
Finally, the survey report pointed out that corruption, and poor infrastructure are the factors that most inhibit growth while 'a range of efficiency-sapping bureaucratic impediments are also having a significant effect'. The country's corruption ranking in certain respects has improved and an accountability for bureaucratic competence will have to be built into the system.         
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