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PRESS RELEASE

Bangladesh’s Top Development Priority is to Create More and Better Jobs: World Bank Group

April 5, 2016

New Country Partnership Framework for Bangladesh will Help Create Jobs and Accelerate Growth

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2016—The World Bank Group today endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) to help Bangladesh achieve its vision of reaching middle-income country status by 2021 from the current lower-middle income status. The CPF for 2016 to 2020 will help the country reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity.

The CPF, discussed by the Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors, will help Bangladesh create more and better jobs for the 2.1 million youths entering the job market every year. The World Bank Group identified job creation as a prerequisite for reducing poverty and accelerating growth in Bangladesh. The Bank Group will help the country address key impediments to higher and sustainable growth. The CPF is aligned with the government’s seventh Five Year Plan and the Bank Group’s Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Bangladesh, which offers a comprehensive analysis of the country’s development challenges.

The SCD identified five transformational priorities where a concerted effort could have the greatest impact on sustainable growth and job creation in the next three to five years — energy, inland connectivity, regional and global integration, urbanization, and adaptive delta management.  The SCD also draws attention to foundational priorities such as macroeconomic stability, human development, and institutional and business environment, where Bangladesh is doing fairly well and would benefit from continued strong performance in these areas. Guided by these priorities and building on a strong existing partnership, the CPF proposes a robust program of technical and financial support focusing on three broad objectives—accelerating growth, fostering social inclusion, and strengthening climate and environmental management.

"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.”

The World Bank Group will help Bangladesh build on its impressive gains in human and social development and focus on electricity supply, connectivity, and the ease of doing business. The Bank will also expand pro-poor social protection and promote better jobs at home and abroad for poor people. To bolster the government’s efforts in adaptive delta management, it will support a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach, taking into account uncertainties related to climate change.

Bangladesh is the largest recipient of funding from the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides financing to the world’s poorest countries. To date, IDA has provided approximately $20 billion in development assistance since the early 1970s. The CPF expands collaboration between Bangladesh and Bank Group institutions: financing will include soft loans and grants to the government from IDA, private-sector financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and investment insurance from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

IFC provides a combination of investments and advisory services for sustainable private sector development in Bangladesh by investing in critical infrastructure, building competitiveness in priority sectors such as textiles and promoting financial inclusion. "IFC will help Bangladesh improve its competitiveness and increase foreign and domestic private investment in the country. IFC will grow its portfolio in infrastructure, high value manufacturing, and agribusiness while continuing our advisory interventions to improve environmental and social standards, energy & resource efficiency, corporate governance and facilitate investment climate reforms," said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

To prepare the CPF, the World Bank Group held two rounds of extensive countrywide and online consultations with major stakeholders, including the government, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, academia, media, and other development partners.

The World Bank Board today also approved $130 million in additional financing to the Private Sector Development Support Project to increase assistance to new economic zones in Bangladesh, as well as $50 million for the Pro-Poor Slums Integration Project to pilot a community-based approach to improve living conditions in urban slums. With these projects, IDA’s current support in Bangladesh stands at around $9 billion with 37 projects. The IFC has an $861 million portfolio, and MIGA $251 million. 

Media Contacts
In Dhaka
Mehrin Mahbub
Tel : (880-2) 8159001
mmahbub@worldbank.org
In Washington DC
Joe Qian
Tel : 202-473-5633
jqian@worldbank.org



PRESS RELEASE NO:
SAR/333/2016

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