World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Tembon has said the global development lender is happy at the completion of the Padma Bridge noting that it will bring a lot of benefits to Bangladesh and its people.
“The World Bank is happy that the bridge has been completed and we congratulate Bangladesh for completing the bridge,” she said when her comments were sought during the opening ceremony of the bridge on Saturday.
Asked whether the Washington-based global lender regrets the past, Tembon said they are looking forward and they are looking into how this bridge is going to benefit the people of Bangladesh.
“The bridge has been completed and that is what is important. We are here to celebrate the completion of the bridge and I think the people of Bangladesh are very proud. Everybody is happy that the bridge is completed,” she said.
Tembon said the World Bank is the long-lasting development partner of Bangladesh and they recognize the economic and social benefits that the Padma Bridge is bringing to Bangladesh.
She said the bridge is going to create jobs, link people, reduce travel time and increase trade. “There are a lot of benefits that this bridge brings to Bangladesh and the people of Bangladesh.
The World Bank country director said this bridge is going to help reduce poverty and will increase shared prosperity. “So, the World Bank recognizes all of these things and the World Bank is happy that the bridge has been completed.
She said the World Bank has been in Bangladesh since 1971. “We are the largest development partner in Bangladesh and we have supported Bangladesh all the way and since 2012, the World Bank has put US$ 22 billion in Bangladesh to help the government achive growth.”
Tembon said Bangladesh is a very important partner for the World Bank and the World Bank is a very important partner for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh witnessed a historic moment on Saturday with the inauguration of Padma Bridge demonstrating to the world what this country can do on its own, proving the skeptics wrong amid the World Bank’s scrapping of committed loans.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who took up the challenge to go ahead with self-financing the bridge of national pride, formally opened the bridge, a milestone on the connectivity front, nationally and regionally.
On June 29, 2012, the World Bank posted a long statement on its website mentioning that it decided to cancel its $1.2 billion IDA credit in support of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project, effective immediately.