ADB to lend $8b

Staff Correspondent

The Asian Development Bank said on Thursday that it would increase public and private sector lending to Bangladesh to $8 billion in 2016-20.
In a statement, the Manila-based multilateral lending agency said that its board of directors endorsed the Bangladesh Country Partnership Strategy for 2016-2010 that envisaged an enhanced partnership between the sides.
In the previous Country Partnership Strategy for 2011-2015, ADB lending to Bangladesh exceeded $5 billion.
The loan would be given to help the country build the infrastructure and skills needed for a strong, diversified economy and to strengthen trade links with in the region, the statement said.
‘The new CPS is aligned with the government’s goals of creating new sources of growth, generating employment, and supporting rural development for regionally balanced growth,’ ADB’s Bangladesh country director Kazuhiko Higuchi said.
The Country Partnership Strategy supports further development of the Dhaka-Chittagong industrial artery, extending to Cox’s Bazar in the south-eastern part of the country, and development of the southwest economic corridor from Dhaka.
It adopted a broad-based approach in order to respond flexibly to the demand of the country, the statement said.
Based on the lending agency’s core strengths, the partnership strategy would help ease infrastructure constraints, boost human capital, promote economic corridor development, improve rural livelihoods, and provide climate- and disaster-resilient infrastructure and services, it said.
The strategy will promote investment and growth in specific geographical areas to ensure a more integrated and higher impact, the statement said.
In coming years, the lending agency proposes to support major railway and road network capacity improvement, Chittagong port development, urban transport in Dhaka, power generation, transmission, and distribution, energy transmission, including regional energy trade, renewable energy development, education and skills development and access to finance.
Its programme of assistance will be underpinned by gender mainstreaming; private sector mobilisation, especially through public-private partnerships, improved public finance management, and regional cooperation support, said the statement.

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