The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $143 million loan package to support Bangladesh's efforts to accelerate growth by improving the efficiency, predictability, and security of cross-border trade.
The loan package includes a $90 million policy-based loan, which will support reforms in areas including improving cargo clearance processes, and strengthening the capacity of related government agencies, ADB said in a press statement.
To complement the policy reforms, a $53 million project loan will construct integrated land customs stations and land ports of National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the Bangladesh Land Port Authority (BLPA) at Akhaura, Sonamasjid, and Tamabil border crossing points (BCPs), the regional development bank said.
"ADB's assistance supports the government's goal of accelerating economic growth through industrialisation and trade," said ADB Principal Economist Tadateru Hayashi.
"The programme will help diversify the country's export products and destinations. Improved connectivity will facilitate sub-regional trade and commerce among the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation countries," he added.
The latest ADB loan will also be used in installing equipment for customs clearance and cargo transshipment operations.
ADB will provide a $1.5 million technical assistance grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund to support the modernisation of the customs legal framework and coordination among the border agencies, prepare an operationalisation plan of central customs facilities, strengthen NBR's capacity, etc.