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Sheikh Hasina’s return as PM was urgent for Bangladesh’s future : ADB

by The Bangla Herald

Asian Development Bank country director Edimon Ginting today said Sheikh Hasina’s return as Prime Minister was very much urgent for the good future of Bangladesh.

“For the good future of Bangladesh, her (Sheikh Hasina) return was very much needed,” PM’s deputy press secretary K M Shakhawat Moon told reporters quoting the ADB country director as saying.

The meeting was held at the PM’s official Ganabhaban residence.

He said that the ADB country director congratulated the Prime Minister for reelecting as the Prime Minister for the fourth consecutive term. “ADB is very much happy,” Edimon Ginting told the Prime Minister.

He mentioned that ADB has been working with Bangladesh as a development partner for long. “We are always ready to do the same in the coming days, and we are always ready to work with Bangladesh,” Edimon Ginting said.

He expressed interest in working with Bangladesh in the energy sector and climate change issues.

The ADB country director also said that they wanted to expand their programme on the Climate Rehabilitation Project in Cox’s Bazar.

The Prime Minister requested them to do the same in the hill districts also.

She mentioned ADB’s continuous support is needed for Bangladesh, saying “Hopefully you will continue your support.”

Sheikh Hasina thanked ADB for continuously supporting Bangladesh in its development endeavours undertaking value-adding projects in its prioritised sectors.

She also thanked the ADB for reaching its commitment to ever highest amounting to US$ 3.6 billion in the last year.

Presently, ADB is funding 61 projects in 7 (seven) major sectors of Bangladesh economy: Transport, Water and Urban Infrastructure and Services, Energy, Human and Social Development, Agriculture, Food, Natural and Rural Development, Finance, Public Sector Management and Governance.

Sheikh Hasina requested the ADB to undertake projects catering to the needs of graduation challenges of Bangladesh economy where improvement of logistics infrastructure and service delivery should be utmost priority.

She said that given the climate vulnerabilities and climate emergencies, Bangladesh expects to have a larger share of ADB’s climate finances.

The premier requested the ADB to scale up its grant and concessional climate finances for Bangladesh to develop a pipeline of high-quality climate projects and programs to support climate outcomes in alignment with its national aspirations, manifested in

“Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan 2022-2041”, “National Adaptation Plan” and “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100”.
She thanked ADB for its recent approval of $400 million.

Sheikh Hasina informed the ADB that there are a number of budget supports in the pipeline for FY 2023-24 and 2024-25 on which ADB may start discussions earlier to ensure their approval within the stipulated timeframe.

She expected that ADB will continue to finance Bangladesh’s priority sectors to help the country maintain its growth momentum and carry out the future vision of a ‘Smart Bangladesh’.

“ADB will continue to finance projects in its prioritized sectors,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The Prime Minister mentioned that as Bangladesh’s economy is advancing towards a high growth trajectory, it is desirable that

ADB will put large impetus on undertaking projects that will reduce digital gap, accelerate trade competitiveness, transfer advanced and low-carbon technologies, generate green energy, promote climate-resilient agriculture, diversify export, develop smart city, and enhance skills and capacities.

She indicated that Bangladesh might require additional financial support to cope with its macro and overall economic challenges in the underlying war situation and its impacts on the global economy.

In this connection, she expected that ADB will keep additional countercyclical and policy based lending (PBL) support measures in its pipeline so that Bangladesh can use them immediately, in case of necessity.

Ambassador at large M Ziauddin and Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has emerged over the years as one of the most reliable development partners of Bangladesh.

ADB’s commitment to Bangladesh since 1973 until December 2023 reaches US$ 32 billion; of which loan accounts for US$ 31.4 billion and grant amounts to US$ 571.2 million.

Through the same period, ADB’s total disbursement was to the tune of US$ 23.2 billion.

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