Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for increased cooperation from the World Bank for Bangladesh’s smooth transition to becoming a developing country, its subsequent transition as an upper-middle income country and the implementation of its Delta Plan-2100.
Addressing a plenary session titled ‘Reflections on 50 years of World Bank-Bangladesh Partnership’ held on Monday at the Preston Auditorium of the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, the Prime Minister put five specific suggestions before the World Bank that should be taken into consideration by World Bank lenders. Khabar bus.
An agreement worth 2.5 billion (two and a half billion) dollars was signed between Bangladesh and the World Bank for the implementation of five projects. At this time, the Prime Minister presented a picture of the Padma multi-purpose bridge to the President of the World Bank.
The Prime Minister said, ‘Bangladesh is preparing for a smooth and sustainable transition from UN LDC status in 2026. I request the World Bank to support our human capital and institutional capacity building programs for a smooth transition. To that end the important IDA window needs to be saved and persisted.’
He also said, ‘Bangladesh will continue to invest in infrastructure and logistics to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income economy by 2041.’
The Prime Minister said, ‘I hope the World Bank will be involved in mega-projects in both our physical and social sectors in the coming years.’
He said, ‘Bangladesh has aligned the UN SDGs with the national aspiration of becoming an upper-middle income country by 2031.’
Sheikh Hasina said, ‘The World Bank and other development partners have an urgent expectation of increased, concessional and innovative financing for the implementation of the SDGs.’
The Prime Minister noted that the ongoing global multiple crises due to pandemics, armed conflicts and climate emergencies have put most of the developing economies under severe pressure.
“Despite multiple crises arising from pandemics and armed conflicts, some development partners have increased their borrowing costs and interest rates,” he said.
The Prime Minister said, ‘I urge the World Bank and other development partners to find viable options so that our economies can better cope with the challenges that arise.’
He said, ‘Bangladesh hopes that the World Bank’s increased involvement in climate action will help fill the financing gap under the Paris Agreement.’
“We will emphasize equitable distribution of funding between climate mitigation and adaptation,” the Prime Minister said.
“Bangladesh has emerged as a global role-model in disaster management and preparedness and has invested heavily in early warning systems, disaster-resilient infrastructure and community-based initiatives,” he said.
He described Bangladesh as a living laboratory of climate adaptation with several nature-based and strategic solutions. The Prime Minister invited the World Bank and other development partners to join us in implementing projects under the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
On the Rohingya issue, the Prime Minister said, “They are working with the United Nations and other international organizations to ensure their safe, dignified and voluntary repatriation to Myanmar, but till date not a single Rohingya has returned.”
He said, ‘With growing security implications for the wider region, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult for us. I thank the World Bank for joining our humanitarian efforts and donating $590 million for the Rohingya and their communities.’
The head of government said, ‘Bangladesh has sheltered Rohingyas forcibly displaced from Myanmar for the past four decades and their number has reached 1.2 million since the mass atrocities in August 2017.’
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sajib Ahmed Wazed, Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Planning Minister MA Mannan and Prime Minister’s Private Industries and Investment Advisor Salman Fazlur Rahman and others were present.
World Bank President David Malpass and its former Chief Economist Kaushik Bose spoke at the event and global lender VP Martin gave the closing remarks.
Sheikh Hasina said on the occasion that she is happy to join everyone on the occasion of 50 years of Bangladesh’s partnership with the World Bank.
The Prime Minister said, ‘I thank President Malpass for his invitation and hospitality. I am happy to see many Bangladeshis working in the World Bank.’
He also said, ‘Bangladesh will continue to move forward without interruption.’
The Prime Minister said, ‘The World Bank has been consistently supporting Bangladesh as a leading development partner. The World Bank contributes about 32 percent of current foreign aid to Bangladesh under the ongoing IDA program. Apart from this, IFC and MIGA are also supporting our private sector.’
Sheikh Hasina said, ‘My presence here (World Bank) indicates that we have maintained our trust in the World Bank. Our success in the next two decades will depend on our collective capacity and efforts to overcome emerging challenges in an equitable and sustainable manner.’
The Prime Minister said, ‘Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation in 1971 under the visionary leadership of his father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabandhu adopted nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism as basic state principles in our constitution. After his brutal murder, we have had to fight for 21 long years of democratic struggle to bring the nation back on the right track.’
He also said at the time, ‘Bangladesh has successfully tackled the Covid-19 pandemic with an economic stimulus package worth 26.9 billion US dollars and free mass vaccination.’
He said, ‘The completion of the Padma multi-purpose bridge on our own resources and its inauguration last year is perhaps the best example of our resilience and achievement.’
Sheikh Hasina mentioned, ‘Bangladesh today has emerged as the 35th largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 460 billion US dollars.’
He said, ‘Our economy is growing at an average rate of 6 percent in the last decade. It reached 8.15 percent just before the pandemic. As a result, per capita income reached 2 thousand 824 US dollars in 2022.
The Prime Minister said, “In 2022, the overall poverty rate has come down to 18.7 percent, which was 41.5 percent in 2006.”
The Prime Minister noted that his government has increased the national budget allocation for social protection by 40 times, which is 2.5 percent of GDP.
The Prime Minister said that his government is working to bring all the homeless and landless people under the housing scheme free of cost.
Sheikh Hasina said, ‘Under the shelter project, we have provided houses to around 5 million people free of cost and provided livelihood skills and assistance.’
The Prime Minister also said that his government has brought healthcare and electricity to the doorsteps of every home.
He said, “The rate of participation of women in the labor force of Bangladesh is higher than that of our regional countries.”
Sheikh Hasina said, ‘Our government has recently decided to reflect women’s household work in our national GDP.’
The Prime Minister said, ‘We have set a target of establishing 100 Special Economic Zones, which will create approximately ten million jobs by 2030. Bangladesh has already established itself as a reliable partner in the global supply chain. More than half of the world’s top 100 green factories are now in Bangladesh.’
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government has launched its next vision to build a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041 that aims to digitally empower citizens.