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World Bank, Bangladesh discuss development priorities

April 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2015—The World Bank and Bangladesh on Friday agreed to do more to develop the country’s transport and energy infrastructure and continue the dialogue on necessary reforms that would merit a Development Policy Credit.

The talks occurred during a meeting in Washington DC between World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“Bangladesh’s success in overcoming poverty is critical for eliminating extreme global poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” said Indrawati. “Limited energy and poor-quality transport infrastructure are key constraints to growth. We will work with the Government of Bangladesh in removing these bottlenecks that slow economic growth and trap many of the country’s people in poverty.”

“We had an in-depth and intensive discussion with the World Bank about the challenges Bangladesh faces and the huge potential of the country if these are overcome,” said Muhith. “We intend to work with the World Bank to improve the country’s infrastructure and to further discuss the possibility of a Development Policy Credit so that we can provide more opportunity for our people.

“In addition to giving high priorities to energy and transportation in recent years, the Government of Bangladesh is also giving equal importance and attention to education, health, sanitation and housing sectors,” added Muhith.

Bangladesh joined the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s soft lending arm for the poorest countries, in 1972, one year after independence. Since then, IDA has provided more than $18 billion in support for policy reforms and investment projects in human development, infrastructure, private sector, governance, and rural developmentCurrently, Bangladesh is the largest recipient under the 17th replenishment of IDA. The country has an indicative total allocation of about $3.9 billion (SDR 2.8 billion), or 9 percent of all resources in the IDA 17 cycle which spans fiscal years 2015-2017.

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