The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday launched a new country partnership strategy (CPS) for Bangladesh aimed at boosting competitiveness, employment, and private sector development; promote green growth and climate resilience; and strengthen human capital and social protection.
The CPS for 2021–2025 will help Bangladesh realise its aspiration of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2031 through increased public and private investments in the next 5 years.
“Sustained growth and appropriate policy measures have helped Bangladesh achieve good development outcomes. Moving forward, the country’s industry and export base need diversification,” said ADB Director General for South Asia Kenichi Yokoyama.
“Diversification in manufacturing and export items, such as agricultural products, information and communication technology, light engineering, and pharmaceuticals, together with increased competitiveness and access to new markets, will be critical in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, sustaining rapid economic growth, and generating substantial employment.”
ADB will further expand its private sector operations in Bangladesh and continue to leverage a high level of co-financing with other development partners, says an ADB release.
Improving the banking sector, the ease of doing business, business environment, and investment climate will help accelerate private sector development and promote economic diversification. The CPS also envisages enhancing ADB operations to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk management to address the country’s high vulnerability to climate events and other natural disasters, in line with the Paris Agreement.
A holistic approach to integrate climate change will be applied to all operations, while expanding programs to directly address climate change impacts through integrated management of water, river, and coastal areas.
In the next 5 years, Bangladesh aims to reduce poverty from 20.5 percent to 15.6 percent and extreme poverty from 10.5 percent to 7.4 percent of its population.
The new ADB strategy was prepared in close coordination with the government to support the implementation of its Eighth Five-Year Plan, which aims to address the need for higher resource mobilization, diversification of manufacturing and exports, and sustainable urbanization.
ADB has supported Bangladesh’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic with a $940 million loan for vaccine procurement under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility and other initiatives.
The government has requested $1 billion programmatic budget support for economic resilience and health and social protection, of which $250 million has been provided and the remainder is under preparation for approval in 2021–2023.