DHAKA, October 30, 2015 —World Bank Senior Vice President, Operations, Kyle Peters pledged enhanced support for Bangladesh’s efforts to reform its economy as he today concluded his visit to the country, saying these efforts would spread prosperity faster to more of the country’s people.
During the visit, Peters praised Bangladesh’s development progress: “Bangladesh has achieved steady economic growth and has lifted more than 16 million people out of poverty in the last decade,” Peters said. “Bangladesh will need sustained reform efforts for further advancement. The World Bank Group is committed to work together with the government to help the country grow faster and bring prosperity to all citizens.”
Peters met with senior government officials, including the Finance Minister, the International Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister, and the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, among others. He discussed the preparation of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework for Bangladesh and sought feedback on how the World Bank’s support can be best aligned with the country’s priorities. The framework will guide the World Bank’s engagement in Bangladesh in the 2016-20 financial years and will be aligned with the government’s 7th five-year plan. Peters also met civil society and private sector leaders and development partners.
Peters stressed that Bangladesh needs to take full advantage of the large number of young people entering its workforce each year. “Around 2 million youths are entering the job market every year in Bangladesh. The World Bank will continue to help create more and better jobs through improving the quality of education and vocational training, addressing infrastructure bottlenecks, improving the business and investment climate, and deepening reform.”
The senior vice president visited World Bank-financed projects in Chittagong, where he witnessed market-oriented vocational and skills training are enhancing employability of the youths. Peters also visited the Chittagong Export Processing Zone and a small power plant created through a public-private partnership. He saw first-hand the private sector’s role in driving growth and creating thousands of jobs. He noted the urgent need to improve the transport and the power sector to spur economic growth.
“I am impressed by the people of Bangladesh, who are determined to make a change and create a better future for their children,” he said. “Bangladesh can become a leader in reducing poverty if the right policies are implemented.”
Since Bangladesh’s independence, the World Bank has been the country’s largest development partner in terms of volume of financing. The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, currently supports 36 projects, with a total commitment of over $8.3 billion.