The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is likely to provide Bangladesh with at least $6.13 billion as financial support in the next four years to improve its communications network for regional connectivity, particularly road transport and railway network.
Out of total amount, the indicative resources available during 2016–2018 for sovereign operations amount to $2,778 million which comprises $1,502 million in market-based ordinary capital resources (OCR) and $1,276 million in Asian Development Fund (ADF) and concessional OCR resources. The rest of $ 3350 million will be available as standby fund for Bangladesh, ERD sources said.
“The country operations business plan (COBP) for 2016–2018 aims to support the current and emerging development priorities of the government, including activities to sustain strong and inclusive economic growth and strong human development,” says the new COBP.
Earlier ERD high ups also hinted that ADB was interested in hiking support for regional connectivity in South Asia to boost trade and commerce.
According to COBP, the final allocation will depend on the availability of ADF and concessional OCR resources, as well as the outcome of ADB’s country performance assessments. The lending programme includes the over-programming that is listed as standby.
In consultation with the government, ADB will actively explore opportunities for co-financing to increase the project scope. Private sector operations will be catalysed using ADB’s non-sovereign lending products.
The COBP continues to focus on the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; improving energy efficiency; and developing regional cooperation in power trading.
The Natural Gas Development and Distribution Project MFF, with tranche-I in 2016 listed as standby, will support expanding delivery of domestic gas and imported liquefied natural gas.
Project Preparatory Facility for Power Sector (TA loan) in 2016 will support early project preparation in the power sector. The Rural Hybrid Power Development Project in 2017 (standby) will support rural communities and renewable energy development.
ADB will focus on improving road maintenance, increasing the capacity of regional road corridor from Dhaka to Northwestern Bangladesh, and building the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway corridor.
Additional Financing for Sub-regional Transport Project Preparatory Facility (TA loan) in 2015 will support preparation of 600 kilometres of roads improvement in eight sub-regional corridors, and the conversion of the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar rail corridor to dual-gauge from meter gauge.
Tranche-I of the SASEC Roads Project II is scheduled for 2017. The Railway Rolling Stock Project, scheduled for 2015, will enhance railway services by providing more and better rolling stock. The first tranche for the SASEC Chittagong–Cox’s Bazar Railway Project Phase-1 in 2016 (standby) will finance a new 100-kilometer railway line.
The COBP strengthens ADB involvement in primary and secondary education; skills development; and science, technology and innovation. Tranche-III of the Skills for Employment Investment Program in 2017 will support policy and institutional reforms and improved job placement.
The information technology parks for employment in 2017 (standby) will support skills development in technology and innovation.
In the finance sector, ADB’s focus will remain on the development of a capital market, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and infrastructure financing. The Small and Medium Enterprise II Project in 2015 (standby) will support access to finance for SMEs in non-metropolitan areas.
The Third Public-Private Infrastructure Development Facility Project in 2016 (standby) will address infrastructure deficiencies by providing long-term debt financing for private sector-sponsored infrastructure projects.
ADB will provide support in the integrated planning process for climate change mitigation and adaptation, water supply and sanitation in large cities, urban primary health care, and governance. A PDA in 2016 will support preparation of the tranche 1 subproject of the City Region Development Investment Program.
Additional financing for the Coastal Towns Environmental Infrastructure Project is included in the pipeline for 2016.
The lender will support food security and rural livelihoods by helping to improve productivity, climate-resilient connectivity, and integrated water resources management. A PDA in 2016 will support preparation of the Crop Diversification and Value Chain Infrastructure Development Project. A PDA in 2015 will support the Rural Infrastructure Maintenance Program, with result-based lending, for 2016.