Finance Minister AMA Muhith will attend the Annual Meetings of the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF)-2016 to be held on October 7-9 in Washington DC and a two-day Dutch-Bangla Expo 2016 in Amsterdam on September 28-29.
He is also scheduled to meet the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, Sonali Bank clearing house Management and join other programmes between October 1 and 5 in New York.
The minister is leaving Dhaka at 10:15 am on Saturday on a 19-day foreign tour, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
On his way to Amsterdam, he will visit Jeddah to perform Umrah Hajj. He will also join a farewell party dedicated to Islamic Development Bank Group president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali.
Sources in the finance ministry said this year’s annual meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF is important for Bangladesh to negotiate the benefits of foreign credit to help Bangladesh becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and even after achieving the middle-income status.
According to WB rules, a country is not eligible for soft loans in the form of international development assistance after graduation to the middle-income category. So the government has been trying to raise its shares in WB’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to keep the scope for borrowing even after graduating to the middle-income status.
Sources said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently gave consent to a plan of raising Bangladesh’s stakes in IBRD by purchasing additional 1,364 shares worth $9.87 million. Currently, Bangladesh holds 4,854 shares that accounts for 0.37 percent of the total stakes in IBRD that offers loans to developing countries.
World Bank, meanwhile, vowed to support Bangladesh to achieve its target to become a middle-income country.