Helping Bangladesh Reach Middle Income Country Status

April 7, 2016

World Bank

Story Highlights
  • The World Bank Group's Country Strategy Framework for Bangladesh for 2016 to 2020 will support Bangladesh to achieve its vision of attaining middle-income status by 2021.
  • Job creation is Bangladesh’s top development priority to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity.
  • The Bank Group’s assistance will help Bangladesh to accelerate growth, foster social inclusion and strengthen climate and environmental management.


The World Bank Group will continue to support and improve the access to and quality of education and skill development.

World Bank

Bangladesh is regarded globally as an example of remarkable progress in poverty reduction and human development, despite daunting challenges. The World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2016-2020 will support Bangladesh to achieve its vision of reaching middle income status by its 50th birthday in 2021. In 2014, Bangladesh reached Low Middle Income Country status. The country is at an important juncture, when with the right policies and timely action, it can move up within the middle-income bracket. For that, Bangladesh will need to accelerate growth.

The World Bank Group identified job creation as the country’s top development priority, a prerequisite for reaching the middle income country status by 2021. Bangladesh will need to create more and better jobs for the 2.1 million youths entering the job market every year. But to do so, Bangladesh will need to remove the barriers to higher growth posed by low access to reliable and affordable power, poor transportation infrastructure, limited availability of serviced land, rapid urbanization and vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, among others. Under the new framework, the Bank Group will help Bangladesh to remove barriers to higher growth and job creation. 

" Despite daunting challenges, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty and advancing growth and development. But the country can do better," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. “For Bangladesh, job creation tops the development agenda and this requires higher, sustainable growth. The World Bank will help remove barriers to growth. We will help the country expand access to electricity and transportation, deal with climate change, and continue to improve on human and social development. "

Qimiao Fan

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal

BD CPF infographic
World Bank Infographic

Key Area of Focus

From 2016 to 2020, the Bank Group’s technical and financial assistance to Bangladesh will focus in the following three areas:

1. Accelerate growth: The World Bank will help remove bottlenecks to growth and shift more financing to increase electricity supply and improve transport connectivity. The Bank Group will further help expand financial intermediation and increase ease of doing business.

2. Foster social inclusion: The World Bank Group will build on Bangladesh’s impressive gains in human and social development. It will continue to support improving the access to and quality of education and skill development, improve health services, and access to clean drinking water and sanitation. The Bank Group will also support expanding social protection and help the poor get better jobs at home and abroad.

3. Strengthen climate and environmental management: The World Bank support will be aligned with the Adaptive Delta Management principle, with the aim to enhance Bangladesh’s resilience to natural disasters, improving water and natural resource management and modernizing agriculture.

The World Bank’s support will be underpinned by an agenda to improve governance in Bangladesh. The World Bank Group will also provide lending and technical assistance to support policies and systems to improve transparency and efficiency in service delivery. The World Bank will embed institutional capacity-building in all its projects and help strengthen country systems. This will include ongoing supports for improving public financial management, promoting electronic government procurement, reinforcing audit and parliamentary oversight functions, and automating Value Added Tax administration to boost tax revenues.

The framework is anchored in the government’s seventh Five Year Plan, and aligned with the Bank Group’s Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Bangladesh. To prepare the CPF, the World Bank Group held two rounds of extensive countrywide and online consultations with stakeholders, including the government, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, academia, media, and other development partners.

With the International Development Association (IDA) providing $8.9 billion with 37 projects, Bangladesh is the largest recipient of IDA, the World Bank’s arm that provides soft credits and grants to the poorest countries. The IFC has an $800 million portfolio, and MIGA has a $400 million portfolio in Bangladesh.