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Biz World - April 28, 2023

WB approves $1.25b financing in 3 projects for Bangladesh

Industry Desk: The World Bank has approved $1.2 billion financing for Bangladesh in three new projects under a new Country Partnership Framework for Bangladesh (2023-2027).
The approval came on Thursday at a meeting of the global lender’s Board of Directors in Washington, said WB press release.
The Country Partnership Framework (CPF), anchored in the government’s eighth “Five Year Plan” and the “Long-Term Perspective Plan 2021-2041”, will support Bangladesh’s goal to achieve upper-middle-income country status by 2031 by helping the country address key barriers to higher and sustainable growth.
It will help develop a diversified and competitive private sector to create more and better jobs; promote socio economic inclusion to expand opportunities for all; and address climate and environmental vulnerabilities. These three outcomes are key priorities for Bangladesh’s growth aspirations.
Guided by these priorities, the CPF proposed a programme of technical and financial support focusing on eight objectives-improved business environment for broad-based private sector development; strengthened financial intermediation for long-term growth and resilience; improved effectiveness of public institutions to deliver better services; improved quality and equitable access for human capital development services; enhanced economic opportunities for women and vulnerable groups; strengthened spatial and digital connectivity for inclusive growth; improved effectiveness of delta management for accelerated climate resilience building and sustainability; and productivity in the use of natural capital for green growth and energy transition.
“This Country Partnership Framework builds on five decades of strong partnership between the World Bank Group and Bangladesh,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
“As Bangladesh aims to be more prosperous, it will need stronger institutions and policies to serve the needs of an upper-middle-income country. This CPF will support the government’s reform programs to deliver jobs and support inclusion and resilience,” said Seck.
To prepare the CPF, the World Bank Group held extensive countrywide and online consultations with key stakeholder groups, including the government, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, academia, media, and other development partners.
“Bangladesh has an ambitious goal – to achieve upper middle income status within a short period and that too in face of the daunting challenges of climate change, “said Junaid Kamal Ahmad, MIGA vice president of Operations.
“Access to private capital and global financial markets will increasingly be needed to achieve this goal,” he said.
“Bangladesh has been one of the world’s outstanding development growth stories. Additional reforms to spur the development of a more diversified and competitive private sector will grow exports and create quality jobs,” said Martin Holtmann, IFC’s country manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
“Financing for green investments to help tackle and mitigate climate risks will become increasingly important,” said Holtmann.
The World Bank Board of Directors yesterday also approved $1.25 billion financing in three projects to help Bangladesh achieve greener and more resilient development and greater inclusion.
The $500 million “Program on Agricultural and Rural Transformation for Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, and Resilience” (PARTNER) project will help promote diversification, food safety, entrepreneurship, and climate resilience in the agri-food systems.
The $500 million “First Green and Climate Resilient Development Credit” will help the country’s transition to green and climate-resilient development. The $250 million “Sustainable Microenterprise and Resilient Transformation” (SMART) project will help transform the micro-enterprise sector into a more dynamic, less-polluting, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient growth sector.
With these three projects approved, the International Development Association’s (IDA) total ongoing programme in Bangladesh stood at $16.3 billion. MIGA’s current programme in Bangladesh is just over $1 billion and IFC’s ongoing programme is about $1 billion.

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