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Bangladesh's Congested Ports Risk Choking Its Economy

Feb 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh, the busiest seaport on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal.

Cargo ships line up outside the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh. The busiest seaport on the Bay of Bengal, Chittagong lacks the container capacity to efficiently process the country’s growing trade volumes.

(Shutterstock/aksenovden)

To maintain its status as one of Asia's most promising emerging markets, Bangladesh is pursuing an ambitious infrastructure overhaul -- and its powerful neighbors are champing at the bit to seize the new investment opportunities at hand. In recent years, Bangladesh has experienced explosive economic growth, thanks in large part to its booming garment industry. But the country's outdated infrastructure has struggled to keep up with demand, leading to long delays and higher shipping costs at the country's main seaport of Chittagong. With Bangladesh’s international trade expected to only grow in the coming years, so too will the need to build alternative ports that can lessen the load on Chittagong. And India, China and Japan have all shown they're more than willing to help, forcing Dhaka to delicately navigate around its suitors' vying strategic interests to secure the capital needed to boost trade revenue and take its economy to the next level....

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