Kamal praises ADB’s support amid Covid-19 crisis

Finance minister seeks membership of New Development Bank (NDB)

Staff Correspondent

2 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal lauded the Asian Development Bank’s supports to Bangladesh in fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

He expected that the bank would also continue to help the country achieve its development goals.

The finance minister came up with the remarks as he spoke to the ADB’s vice-president (Operations-1) Shixin Chen at a virtual meeting on Thursday, said a finance ministry press release.

ADB, the long development partner of Bangladesh, has provided $500 million loans as budget support to help the country overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic.

During the crisis, it also extended policy supports including $250 million credit, $100 million loans for COVID-19 Response Emergency Assistance project in health sector, $9.34 million grants and $940 million loans for vaccine procurement.

 “To help Bangladesh achieve its development goals, continuation of such supports will be very crucial in the coming days,” Kamal told Chen.

In reply, ADB vice-president said: “ADB has stood beside Bangladesh from the very beginning of the crisis in rescuing its social and economic security.”

He assured of continued help and supports to Bangladesh in the days to come.

Finance Minister said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working tirelessly and boldly to raise Bangladesh’s status to a prosperous nation by 2041.”

“At the same time, the prime minister also announced stimulus packages worth $15.11 billion to bail out the economy dented by COVID-19 and improve the health sector to increase its resilience against such crisis,” he continued.

Finance secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, ADB country director Manmohan Parkash and Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Fatima Yasmin also joined the virtual meeting.  

Finance minister held a separate virtual meeting with president of New Development Bank (NDB) Marcos Troyjo.

At the meeting, Kamal sought the NDB’s membership, saying that both the sides will benefit from the membership as Bangladesh’s demand for foreign financing is growing with its gradual development.   

“NDB’s financing will play a very important role to sustain Bangladesh’s current development and turning into a happy and prosperous nation by 2041,” Kamal said. NDB president highly acclaimed the country’s recent development and made a commitment for being a part of that development.

He also assured that he would extend all-out support so that Bangladesh can get the membership, the ministry of finance said. NDB is a multilateral bank comprising Brasil, Russia, China, India and South Africa (BRICS) countries, which provides support to physical and social infrastructure development.

Obtaining of NDB’s membership is expected to open up a new window of opportunity for the country in access to foreign financing.

Since its inception five years ago, the NDB has provided more than $30 billion support to its member countries.