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Transport Technologies Sector Reviews


Definition and scale of sector

The sector covers:

Why the sector is strong in the West Midlands

Transport Sector review from European Commission Asia Investment Facility

Improving transportation and communications is a major goal of the Bangladesh Government, in order to improve economic development and to upgrade the infrastructure necessary to attract more foreign investment, with both of these sectors receiving considerable funding from both multilateral and bilateral agencies.

The transport infrastructure is principally the responsibility of the public sector under the Ministry of Communications, which is responsible for the operations of roads and railways. The whole transport sector is very poor and the state of disrepair of what there is, tends to hinder economic development. Major expansion and a vast programme of rehabilitation is needed. The current trend appears to be towards an increased use of road transport against a decline in rail traffic, with waterways providing a possible alternative.

There are two major seaports at Chittagong and Mongla, and inland ports at Dhaka, Chandpur, Barisal and Khulna, with around 80% of all imports and 75% of all exports passing through Chittagong, which is well connected by road, rail, river and air routes. Chittagong, which has already received considerable public sector investment, is now expected to attract most private sector investment which will double its capacity.

The current "Fifth Development Plan" calls for increased private sector participation in cargo handling and under-taking joint ventures with the Chittagong Port Authority. Operations to be improved, include maintenance of dredgers, construction of more container terminals and specialized berths, leasing equipment for port handling, and the creation of container freight services.

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has already begun work on a new container port alongside the main port, which has been designed to double the port's capacity. As part of the governments policy of attracting private sector participation in the sector, an American firm SSA, is building a private container terminal some 15 km from Chittagong. This private port proposal is vehemently being opposed by the workers, labour unions and some politicians, who have regularly organised strikes to prevent its construction. Opposition politicians are also raising objections in Parliament concerning the way in which the contract was awarded, without going to a tender.

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