Bangladesh : Preparing the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program
The proposed South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program (the Program) will help improve Bangladesh's border infrastructure and trade facilitation environment, thereby contributing to the national goals of promoting a favorable industrialization and trade policy regime.The Program will support Bangladesh's implementation of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement, and related best practices on transport and trade facilitation. The Program will also support the Government of Bangladesh to establish and improve border infrastructure as public goods, which will reduce the cost and time of cross-border transactions and handle international transit cargos.
South Asia Department
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- Industry and trade
|Project Name||Preparing the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program|
|Country / Economy||Bangladesh
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Operational Priorities||OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
|Sector / Subsector||
Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development
Transport / Multimodal logistics
|Gender||Some gender elements|
|Description||The proposed South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program (the Program) will help improve Bangladesh's border infrastructure and trade facilitation environment, thereby contributing to the national goals of promoting a favorable industrialization and trade policy regime.The Program will support Bangladesh's implementation of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement, and related best practices on transport and trade facilitation. The Program will also support the Government of Bangladesh to establish and improve border infrastructure as public goods, which will reduce the cost and time of cross-border transactions and handle international transit cargos. These are aligned with (i) the government's ongoing customs reform and modernization initiatives under Customs Strategic Action Plan 2019-2022, (ii) ADB's Strategy 2030, Operational Priority 7: Fostering Regional Cooperation and Integration, (iii) the SASEC Operational Plan 2016-2025, and (iv) one of the country partnership strategy's priority areas, deepening regional cooperation and integration.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The performance of Bangladesh in various global indices reflects improvements in the trade facilitation environment, but it also indicates that there is ample scope for further enhancement. The government formulated Export Policy 2015-2018 to promote and facilitate export, improve quality and has signed 29 bilateral Trade and Investment Cooperation agreements. The positive impact of the reform measures initiated to enhance organizational structure and modernize facilities is yet to be fully realized, as their implementation is constrained by insufficient use, infrastructural and capacity limitations, shortage of skilled human resources and impending introduction of new as well as complementary reforms. Effective implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is another factor necessitating prioritization of customs reforms in Bangladesh. To comply with TFA and improve the environment of international trade, the government has identified 13 areas where they need external assistance and support for capacity building.
Modernization of customs and improvement of trade and transport infrastructure are essential in the current competitive trade environment. In the World Bank's logistics performance index, weakness is apparent in many areas of the global performance of Bangladesh. Its overall logistics performance index score in 2018 was 2.58 out of 5, and its country ranking is 100 out of 160 countries. Lack of coordination by government agencies has hindered development of border infrastructure and operations in response to growth of trade and transport demands.
Most of the existing customs offices, and cargo transshipment and storage facilities are underdeveloped, and their capacity is insufficient to handle international transit cargos. The last 2-5 kilometers (km) sections of roads to border crossing points are generally narrow and their pavement conditions are poor. Also, India and Nepal have demands of international trade by using the railways in Bangladesh. Bangladesh needs to build modernized land customs stations and land ports, and improve road conditions and railway cargo handling facilities at border crossing points.
|Description of Outcome|
|Progress Toward Outcome|
|Description of Project Outputs|
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||Stakeholder engagement has been severely limited by the lockdown and security issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, where possible and safe, meetings have been undertaken by telephone and in person. Focus group discussions with local traders, community members and where possible separate women's groups, consultations with land customs station and land port staff members, short socioeconomic surveys, and meetings with local government and NGOs have been undertaken. A stakeholder engagement plan has been prepared for the Sector Development Program.|
|During Project Implementation||
An international consulting firm, David Lupton and Associates Limited in association with KS Consultants Limited was engaged to prepare (i) economic and financial feasibility study, (ii) engineering design and cost estimate, (iii) safeguard and gender documents, and (iv) procurement plan and bidding documents for the central customs facilities in Dhaka, and integrated trade facilities at the nine border crossing points (BCPs).
A video documentary with captions and narrations outline of the SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program was prepared. It presents status of the customs clearance and cargo transshipment operations and road traffic conditions at Akhaura, Sonamasjid, and Tamabil BCPs.
|Consulting Services||ADB has engaged an international consulting firm following ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions. The consulting services are implemented by a team of international and national experts.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Tanaka, Yasushi|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Transport and Communications Division, SARD|
Asian Development Bank
|Approval||28 Nov 2019|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||12 Jul 2022|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|28 Nov 2019||29 Dec 2019||29 Dec 2019||30 Sep 2022||31 Mar 2024||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|2,000,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||2,000,000.00||08 Mar 2023||983,428.65|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Preparing the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program: Technical Assistance Report||Technical Assistance Reports||Nov 2019|
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
None currently available.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
None currently available.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|Recruitment of Consultants for the SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Program||Firm - Consulting||Closed|
None currently available.