The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Bangladesh with a $143 million policy-based loan to improve the volume, efficiency, predictability, and security of cross-border trade in Bangladesh.
The two parties signed an agreement to this end on Wednesday, according to a press statement.
Fatima Yasmin, secretary, Economic Relations Division, and Edimon Ginting, country director of ADB, virtually signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively.
"ADB assistance will help increase the volume of imported and exported cargoes at the Akhaura, Sonamasjid, and Tamabil border crossing points (BCP) by 50% by 2027 while reducing average customs clearance and cargo transhipment time by 50%," Ginting said regarding the loan.
"E-payment at the three BCPs will be implemented, with their capacity increased to handle 520,000 tonnes per year of international transit cargoes, and central customs laboratory, customs warehouse, and customs regional training academy will be designed," he added.
Besides, the ADB assistance package includes a $90 million policy-based loan, which will support reforms in areas including bringing the country's customs legal frameworks in compliance with international standards, improving cargo clearance processes, and strengthening the capacity of government agencies, according to the press statement.
To complement the policy reforms, a $53 million project loan will construct integrated land customs stations and land ports of NBR and the Bangladesh Land Port Authority at Akhaura, Sonamasjid, and Tamabil border crossing points, the statement added.
Facilities and equipment for customs clearance and cargo transhipment operations will also be installed.
Moreover, 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, strengthen the capacity of the National Bureu of Revenue (NBR) to implement modernised customs operations at BCPs, etc.