Published: 09:02 PM, 13 September 2019
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently and handed over ADB’s new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for 2020-2022, which programs around $5 billion in firm projects.
Projects worth another $4.9 billion have been included in the pipeline as “standby”.
The projects will be taken up for ADB financing based on their readiness.
Country Director Parkash appraised Prime Minister Hasina of the ADB’s enhanced development programs for Bangladesh, ADB said in a media release on Friday.
The COBP aligns with the government’s Seventh Five-Year Plan and ADB’s Strategy 2030 and supports implementation of sustainable development goals targets.
It is also aligned with the government’s new manifesto, which highlights the priorities and sets the stage for the next 5-year plan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appreciated ADB assistance and highlighted her government’s priorities for infrastructure and human capital development, science and technology research, rural and agricultural development, and private sector promotion.
Complimenting Prime Minister Hasina on strong economic performance, Country Director Parkash said that the new COBP is consistent with government priorities and a pathway to prosperity.
He reaffirmed ADB’s continued assistance to further strengthen its partnership to promote sustainable growth in Bangladesh.
ADB assistance is well distributed in infrastructure and social sectors. About 54% of sovereign investments (by volume) will further improve human capital; enhance urban services, water supply and sanitation; strengthen road, railway and port connectivity; promote rural development; and improve access and quality of electricity supply.
The lending prioritises skills development and tertiary education with an emphasis on information technology.
It also prioritises Bangladesh’s participation in regional and global value chains by furthering regional cooperation and integration in the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) and beyond.
The program will enable greater private sector investment by easing credit constraints and facilitating local currency bonds.
Major projects include Dhaka-Sylhet Road, Joydevpur-Elenga-Rangpur-Burimari-Banglabandha road, Faridpur-Barishal road, dual gauging of Dhaka-Chattogram rail lines, Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, Dhaka MRT Line 5 (Gabtoli-Panthapath-Aftabnagar), Skills for Employment Project, Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project, Dhaka Sewerage System and Water Supply Projects, and Khulna Sewerage System Development Project.
The pipeline also includes projects to automate revenue administration, develop bond markets, strengthen the banking system, and improve irrigation, rural connectivity and electrification.
In its 46-year-long partnership with Bangladesh, ADB has mobilized over $25 billion in loans and grants to help bring better infrastructure, public services, and social development outcomes to the people of Bangladesh.
In 2018 alone, ADB approved a record $2.5 billion in assistance to the country.
This included a grant of $100 million as the first phase of a projected $200 million support for the immediate needs of people sheltered in the camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region.