New Dhaka Expressway Promises Time and Cost Savings, Boosting Export Competitiveness

New Dhaka Expressway Promises Time and Cost Savings, Boosting Export Competitiveness

The inauguration of an elevated expressway in Dhaka yesterday was hailed by exporters as a significant time and money saver. They believe that this development will empower businesses to enhance their competitiveness and bolster their export capabilities.

The expressway, symbolizing Bangladesh’s entry into a new era, is also expected to elevate the country’s global image. Over the last two decades, the economy has been steadily growing by approximately 6 percent annually, according to these exporters.

Md Saiful Islam, the president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the country’s leading chambers of commerce, remarked, “This will greatly contribute to enhancing the country’s appearance. Our competitiveness will rise, and we will see improvements in our ease of doing business rankings.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 11.5-kilometer Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport-Farmgate segment of the 19.73-kilometer Dhaka Elevated Expressway, a project being constructed through public-private partnership at an estimated cost of nearly Tk 9,000 crore.

According to Islam, a significant amount of time is currently wasted on Dhaka’s roads due to traffic congestion, resulting in high fuel consumption and opportunity costs. He emphasized that the new expressway will not only save time and money but also contribute to reducing global warming when considering the impact of the metro rail.

However, Islam, who is also the managing director of Picard Bangladesh Ltd, a prominent leather goods exporting firm in Ashulia, northwest of Dhaka, cautioned that the initial benefits of the partially opened expressway might be limited. He explained that businesses would fully realize its advantages once the construction is completed, connecting the airport to Kutubkhali on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway. He also mentioned that another expressway in Ashulia is under rapid construction and is scheduled to be finished by June 2026.

Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, noted that the partial opening of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway would alleviate traffic congestion around the airport area, benefiting air shipment for garments—a sector accounting for roughly 85 percent of Bangladesh’s $55 billion export earnings. He added that the expressway would reduce both the cost and time required for air shipments and decrease transportation times for inputs and outputs.

Khairul Alam Suzan, vice president of the Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association, highlighted the current challenges faced by covered vans transporting goods into Dhaka city. He mentioned that these vans are unable to enter the city during the daytime, resulting in extended waiting times and increased costs. However, once the elevated expressways are fully completed, these issues are expected to be resolved, enabling covered vans to operate more efficiently and reduce costs for businesses

Leave a Comment