The World Bank has decided on a $1.4 billion scheme to accelerate trade and transport connectivity in Eastern South Asia, an action that can increase Bangladesh’s regional trade by a staggering 93%. According to the World Bank, regional business in South Asia accounts for just 5% of total business, which compares poorly to East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where regional trade accounts for 50% and 22% of the whole business, respectively. The article contains World Bank Prepared to Facilitate South Asian Regional Trade.
A high cost of connectivity is liable for the low level of regional trade. Trade conditions with distant economies are naturally better than those with neighboring regions. For example, according to the WB’s 2021 Connecting to Thrive report, trade between Brazil and Germany is around 15–20 percent less expensive for an Indian company than for a Bangladeshi company. The bank has taken up a project initially implicating $1.4 billion to grow the efficiency and resilience of trade and transportation along chosen corridors in some countries, like, as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.
In phase 1 of the project, the World Bank will deliver $1.03 billion of the $1.4 billion, while the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh will give the rest. The World Bank has endorsed $753.45 million for Bangladesh, and Nepal will obtain $275 million of the $1.03 billion set for phase 1 of the program. The $753.45 million to be supplied to Bangladesh will be used to execute undertakings by the Bangladesh Land Port Authority, the National Board of Revenue, and also the Road and Highways Department by the year of 2029.
43 km of two-lane Sylhet Charkai Sheola pathway will be developed to a four-lane that will link the port with the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway, expected to reduce the travel time by 30%. An electronic tracking system will be installed to track truck entry and exit at the Benapole, Bhomra, and Burimari land ports. In addition, customs infrastructure will be upgraded along with intelligent parking.
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