Bangladesh has climbed up four notches to rank 35th among the 50 most promising emerging logistics markets in the world, thanks to the country's performance in both domestic and international logistics opportunities, according to the 2023 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.
However, Bangladesh has scored the lowest yet again among four emerging South Asian economies in the 14th annual edition of the index unveiled by Agility – a Kuwait-based global logistics company – on Tuesday.
At number two in the overall ranking, India has made significant progress in the last decade in modernising its logistics and supply chain industry, read the report.
Among other South Asian countries – Pakistan stood at 26th position and Sri Lanka at 30th in the index.
Bangladesh has been languishing at the lowest position among the four emerging South Asian economies in the index since 2019.
The index ranked the world's 50 leading emerging markets for overall competitiveness based on four metrics: domestic logistics opportunities, international logistics opportunities, business fundamentals and digital readiness – factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, air and ocean carriers, distributors and investors.
This year, Bangladesh's overall score in these metrics is 4.53 out of 10.
China held its spot at the top in the overall ranking with the highest overall score of 8.31, followed by India, the UAE, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Syed Ershad Ahmed, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, said, "It's positive for business ecosystems. We made significant progress in digital readiness and domestic logistics. Now we need to focus on improving customs clearance with full automation facilities, warehouse development and management and temperature control logistics (TCL)."
"Improvement of logistics will help us to attract more FDI and in export diversification," he added.
Bangladesh's performance in the metrics
Bangladesh's overall performance was backed by its better performance in both domestic and international logistics opportunities metrics.
With a jump of four places, Bangladesh ranked 17th in domestic opportunities. This metric measures the performance of each emerging market and its potential to sustain and develop domestic demand that requires competitive logistics markets.
While the country moved up eight notches in the international logistics opportunities metric to rank 33rd. This metric measures internal and external demand for trade-intensive logistics services and the capacity of individual emerging markets to facilitate cross-border logistics operations.
China and India topped the domestic and international logistics metrics.
In the business fundamentals metric – which measures the openness, robustness, fairness and strength of each emerging market's business environment, rule of law and market independence – Bangladesh's rank remained unchanged at 44th position.
UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman again offered the best business conditions. Malaysia, with the 4th best environment for business, was the only non-Gulf country in the top five.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh slipped one step behind in the digital readiness metric to rank 35th. The metric measures each market's potential to emerge as a digitally-led, skill-rich, innovation-oriented and sustainable economy for the future.
Agility Vice Chairman Tarek Sultan, said, "Carriers and shippers are feeling the effects of higher energy prices, tight labour markets and broader inflation even though freight rates have fallen and ports have cleared cargo backlogs."