Trade Facilitation

Description

According to the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) (2010) which measures countries’ trade logistics efficiency, Bangladesh was ranked 79th in 2010, which is higher than the regional averages. This result is in line with the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators (2013) on trade facilitation performance. On the one hand, Bangladesh has competitively priced international shipments, which almost reached to the OECD average. According to the World Bank Doing Business Report (2013), exporting and importing a standard container of goods costs USD 1,075 and USD 1,470 respectively. It is less than the regional average of USD 1,787 and USD 1,968. On the other hand, customs and border management clearance are its major weaknesses which take 2 to 3 time longer than the OECD average, with more than half of this time spent on document preparation. For example, in Chittagong seaport through which more than 90 per cent of the country's trade passes, 21 per cent of bills of entry take seven days or more for clearance. Therefore, Bangladesh is putting effort into facilitating speedy customs clearance through automation. First, it aims to improve its Customs Act of 1969 by including full implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention, which is an international agreement to simplify and harmonize customs procedures. Second, with UNCTAD's assistance, it has put the latest version of the automated system for customs data (ASYCUDA) in place at the Chittagong port, which is a computerised customs management system for international trade and transport operation. Owing to the later reform in particular, the World Bank Doing Business Report (2013) considered there to be decrease in the time needed to clear goods.

Logistics Performance Index (LPI): Country Comparison