ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash on Wednesday handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ADB’s new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for 2020-2022, which programs around $5 billion in firm projects, the state news agency said on Friday (Sept 13) citing a statement by the multi-lateral lender.
ADB said projects worth another $4.9 billion have been included in the pipeline as ‘standby’.
The ADB country director handed over the COBP when he paid a courtesy call on the premier at her Jatiya Sangsad Office on Wednesday, the release said.
At the meeting, the ADB country director apprised her about ADB’s enhanced development programs for Bangladesh.
The projects will be taken up for ADB financing based on their readiness. The COBP aligns with the government’s Seventh Five-Year Plan and ADB’s Strategy 2030 and supports the implementation of sustainable development goals targets. It is also aligned with the government’s new manifesto, which highlights the priorities and sets the stage for the next five-year plan.
At the meeting, Parkash said that the new COBP is consistent with the government priorities and a pathway to prosperity.
He reaffirmed ADB’s continued assistance to further strengthen its partnership to promote rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth in Bangladesh.
ADB assistance is well distributed in infrastructure and social sectors. About 54 percent of sovereign investments (by volume) will further improve human capital; enhance urban services, water supply and sanitation; strengthen road, railway and port connectivity; promote rural development; and improve access and quality of electricity supply.
The lending prioritizes skills development and tertiary education with an emphasis on information technology. It also prioritizes Bangladesh’s participation in regional and global value chains by furthering regional cooperation and integration in the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) and beyond.
The program will enable greater private sector investment by easing credit constraints and facilitating local currency bonds.
The major projects include Dhaka-Sylhet Road, Joydevpur-Elenga-Rangpur-Burimari-Banglabandha road, Faridpur-Barishal road, dual gauging of Dhaka-Chattogram rail lines, Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, Dhaka MRT Line 5 (Gabtoli-Panthapath-Aftabnagar), Skills for Employment Project, Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project, Dhaka Sewerage System and Water Supply Projects, and Khulna Sewerage System Development Project.
The pipeline also includes projects to automate revenue administration, develop bond markets, strengthen the banking system, and improve irrigation, rural connectivity and electrification, the release said.