The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh on Tuesday (November 28, 2023) signed a $100 million loan agreement to improve computer science, software engineering, and information technology (IT) programs in three universities in Bangladesh. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Edimon Ginting, Country Director, ADB, signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony at ERD in Dhaka. “This project will help accelerate fourth industrial revolution technology adoption, realize the vision of Digital Bangladesh, and enable the country to reap the demographic dividend by creating digitally qualified young human resources and entrepreneurs,” said ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting. “This new initiative builds on ADB’s ongoing skills development support through industry partnerships to increase competitiveness and foster innovation,” he said. Read: ADB to provide $200 million to promote energy efficiency, transition in Bangladesh The Improving Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project will upgrade the computer science and engineering, software engineering, and information technology degree programs of the leading public universities in Bangladesh. The universities receiving the funding are: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), University of Dhaka (DU), and Jashore University of Science and Technology. These programs will adopt blended learning techniques and integrate the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and internet of things. These programs will seek international accreditation to ensure that students get updated curricula that adhere to international standards. Read: ADB to lend $336.5 million to Bangladesh to help develop vaccine production ADB will support the establishment of modern classrooms and laboratories, collaboration and start-up spaces, and auxiliary facilities in the three universities. These facilities will incorporate climate- and disaster-resilient designs, energy- and water-saving features, and will include women-friendly amenities and services. The universities will develop capacities of teachers to be proficient in new instructional approaches and emerging digital technologies. The students and teachers from the three and other universities will also work with industry partners to come up with innovative solutions through joint research and development. Mandatory internship opportunities, career counseling, and industry placement will be provided to undergraduate students, particularly for women. Read: ADB provides $90 million for clean water, sanitation services in the Hill Tracts
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh today (November 28, 2023) signed a $90 million loan agreement to develop infrastructure and systems that will provide clean drinking water and sanitation services in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Edimon Ginting, Country Director, ADB, signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony at ERD in Dhaka. “We are pleased to support the government in pursuing inclusive and climate-resilient development by providing clean drinking water and sanitation services and improving solid waste management in the lagging Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region,” said ADB Country Director Ginting. Read more: Latest ADB report predicts a better year for Bangladesh in FY2024 “The improved services will reduce the risks of water-borne diseases, enhance health and economic opportunities, and benefit women who spend considerable productive time daily collecting water and managing wastes,” he said. The Chattogram Hill Tracts Inclusive and Resilient Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project will develop water treatment plants with a total capacity of 44 million liters per day in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns, as well as 24 km of transmission line and 340 km of new water distribution network to connect to households. In Bandarban and Lama, the project will also modernize sanitation and solid waste management systems through rehabilitated public toilets and the provision of vehicles to safely de-sludge fecal sludge and collect solid waste integrated with a geographic information system, and equip household waste bins with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track waste collection. The project will also develop two integrated waste management facilities to treat and manage fecal sludge and solid waste, said the regional development bank. To maximize impact and sustainability, a community awareness and behavior change campaign on water, sanitation, hygiene, climate resilience, and solid waste management will be conducted. The campaign will target 100,000 people, with at least 60 percent participation from women and the vulnerable population. Around 300 staff (at least 90 percent of the eligible women staff) of the Department of Public Health Engineering, hill district councils, and municipalities will be trained on climate-resilient, inclusive, and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management service delivery. The project will also enhance the readiness for implementation of future investments in water supply and sanitation for 31 towns by preparing feasibility studies, detailed designs, and bidding documents following approaches that promote disaster and climate resilience as well as gender equity and social inclusion. Read more: In another first, PM Hasina opens Ctg-Cox's Bazar railway line
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh on Tuesday (November 28, 2023) signed a loan agreement for $336.5 million to establish domestic vaccine, therapeutics, and diagnostics manufacturing capacity and strengthen the national regulator to ensure vaccine supply security in Bangladesh. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, secretary, Economic Relations Division, and Edimon Ginting, ADB country director for Bangladesh signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively. The vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics manufacturing and regulatory strengthening project will establish a vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostics manufacturing facility and warehousing unit in Essential Drugs Company Limited's (EDCL) existing location at Gopalganj, with a capacity to manufacture 58 million vials of vaccines per year, said the regional development bank. An in-house research and development center will be established to support the production of diagnostic kits and packaging of biosimilar therapeutics. Read: ADB to provide $200 million to promote energy efficiency, transition in Bangladesh It will also support the manufacture of at least two full-cycle vaccines by developing a seed bank, master cell bank, and working cell bank, in addition to at least five fill-and-finish vaccines. “Bangladesh has attained remarkable success in implementing its vaccination programs supported by subsidized vaccines supplied through the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI). As Bangladesh graduates from the Least Developed Country status, the supply of vaccine from GAVI will gradually be phased out,” said Country Director Edimon Ginting. “This project will help create vibrant ecosystem for vaccine production in the country, ensuring sustainable supply in the medium-term, and at the same time, building Bangladesh’s capacity to manage future pandemics better,” he added. The manufacturing facility will incorporate features to promote gender equality and social inclusion as well as green and resilient production using less energy and materials while reducing waste and carbon missions. The facility will seek certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for good manufacturing practices (GMPs). The ADB loan will support the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to upgrade its regulatory capacity to WHO maturity level 3 and beyond. ADB will help strengthen laboratory quality management and regulatory inspection systems while improving testing capacity modalities in compliance with WHO's Global Benchmarking Tool. Read: JICA to help improve Bangladesh’s justice delivery system It will create a stable, well-functioning, and integrated regulatory system; help foster international collaboration and trade; and improve private sector participation in Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry. The project will help EDCL and DGDA train their staff in essential GMPs, quality assurance, quality control, validation, and calibration programs in compliance with the biosafety levels, according to ADB. The project is financed through ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, launched in December 2020 to provide rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB developing member countries. It builds on ADB’s $940 million support to Bangladesh to purchase safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 in June 2021. Read more: ADB provides $90 million for clean water, sanitation services in the Hill Tracts
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (November 11, 2023) inaugurated the much-awaited 102-kilometre Chattogram-Cox's Bazar dual-gauge single railway line setting yet another milestone in the country's communication network. The southern region wore a festive look as she unveiled the new rail route (from Dohazari in Chattogram to Cox’s Bazar) for train movement at a ceremony at newly constructed Cox’s Bazar Railway Station. The premier flagged off a train and then travelled by it from Cox’s Bazar Railway Station to Ramu Railway Station. Read: Oyster-shaped railway station adds greater tourist attraction to Cox’s Bazar She bought her own ticket from the counter of the railway station. She waved the green flag before boarding the train. She also blew the whistle signalling the start of the train. Addressing the inauguration programme, the prime minister said, “Today Cox's Bazar has been linked to the country's railway network. I am really very delighted for being able to attend the inaugural ceremony physically, " she said. "I have kept my promise by inaugurating the railway. This was a longstanding demand of this region. This is a day of feeling proud," she said. Read: Railway Minister to inspect Dohazari-Cox's Bazar line before inauguration Talking to reporters during the train ride, the prime minister said that this train link will contribute a lot to country’s GDP and economy. “Transportation of goods, people and tourists will be expedited resulting in increase the GDP and more vibrant economy,” she said. She mentioned that Cox’s Bazar has the longest sandy sea beach in the world. “But we could not build this tourist spot up to the mark. We have to make sure that tourists can come here comfortably,” she said. PM Hasina said that apart of tourists conveyance the trade and commerce of this area have been given importance. “We are building a deep seaport, power station, building an economic zone here,” she said. She also mentioned that Bangladesh will be linked with trans Asian railway by this rail line. “This rail line will go to Ghumdhum from Ramu, later from Ghumdhum it will be linked with South and South East countries.” Read: Chinese-built railway opens via Bangladesh's Padma Bridge On her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan and local MPs. Local artists greeted her with traditional songs and dances. The railways minister presided over the programme. Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director for Bangladesh Ginting and Railways Ministry secretary Md Humayun Kabir also spoke at the event.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be 6.5 percent in the fiscal year 2024, compared to an estimated growth of 6 percent in fiscal 2023. The projection was made in the latest ADB report, ‘Asian Development Outlook (ADO) September 2023,’ released today. The ADB in a press release said that the growth forecast reflects an improvement in domestic demand and better export growth due to economic recovery in the Eurozone. ADB, Deutsche Bank ink risk sharing agreement to boost supply chain financing in Asia The ADB also mentioned that inflation in Bangladesh is projected to ease from 9 percent in FY2023 to 6.6 percent in FY2024. The current account deficit is expected to slightly narrow from 0.7 percent of GDP in FY2023 to 0.5 percent of GDP in FY2024 as remittance growth improves. The main risk to this growth projection is a further deterioration in export growth if global demand is weaker than expected, the press release said. Global trade finance gap expands to 2.5 trillion USD in 2022: ADB ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting said that the government is managing relatively well against the external economic uncertainties, while advancing infrastructure development and critical reforms to improve the investment climate. “These key structural reforms include to strengthen public financial management, enhance domestic resource mobilisation, improve logistics, and deepen financial sector, which are critical for private sector development, export diversification and productive job creation in the medium term,” he said. ADB to provide Bangladesh $300 million loan to boost skills of labour force He mentioned that continued high oil prices also provide a good incentive to accelerate reforms to expand domestic renewable energy supply and achieve the country’s climate change goals. The ADO September 2023 states that moderate inflation and an increase in remittances will contribute to reviving private consumption, while the completion of a number of major government infrastructure projects will boost investment. Private investment, however, may be dampened by the initial higher interest rates following the enhancement in the country’s monetary policy framework. Inflation is expected to ease in FY2024 with some fall in global non-fuel commodity prices, expected higher agricultural production, and the initial tightening of monetary policy under the new framework.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), as a transaction advisor for the Government of Bangladesh’s Rampura Amulia Demra Expressway public–private partnership (PPP) project, has mobilized $261 million of private sector capital for a four-lane, 13.5 km expressway. It will ease traffic congestion and provide better connectivity between the capital Dhaka and other major cities. The project is being funded through a $193 million senior loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Bank of China, DBS Bank Limited, and Infrastructure Development Company Limited, a nonbanking financial institution based in Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s estimated growth higher than forecast for FY 2023: ADB The remaining $68 million is provided by sponsors as equity contributions, ADB said on Thursday. ADB assisted in project structuring, negotiation, tender execution, and provided support for commercial award and financial closure. “We worked with the public authorities in Bangladesh to prepare, market, and attract private sector partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain this expressway,” said Head of ADB Office of Markets Development and PPP, Cleo Kawawaki. ADB increases support for rural roads improvement in Bangladesh “It will provide commuters with quicker access to their destinations by improving connectivity between Dhaka and eastern and southeastern districts of Bangladesh, including the cities of Chattogram, Narayanganj, and the northeastern city of Sylhet.” Kawawaki said that the Rampura Amulia Demra PPP project was delivered under an availability payment mechanism with partial revenue linked to US dollar and taka exchange rate movements, whereas the first road transaction, the $370 million Dhaka Bypass Road PPP, was structured as a minimum revenue guarantee. ADB appoints Fatima Yasmin as Vice-President for sectors, themes “ADB has therefore helped establish the pathway for both types of payment mechanisms in Bangladesh for future private sector investments in the infrastructure sector,” she said. The deal—part of a programmatic approach taken by ADB to develop road PPPs as an asset class for investments—is the second successful financial closure of a PPP transaction with ADB as transaction advisor in Bangladesh. ADB is currently advising the government on the Joydebpur Mymensingh Expressway PPP project, which will improve connectivity to 10 special economic zones. The Rampura Amulia Demra Expressway will be designed, constructed, financed, operated, and maintained during a 25 year concession period by a consortium comprising China Communications Construction Company Limited and China Road and Bridge Corporation. Read more: Purbachal Expressway: Next megaproject unveiling up govt's sleeve?
The higher estimate of 6% for FY 2023 (ending on June 30, 2023) reflects strong net exports as imports fell more sharply than expected and export growth slowed less than expected, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB). On the supply side, manufacturing firms of all sizes leveraged supportive government policies to contribute to growth. Crop losses to floods, cyclones, and droughts were partly offset by subsidies, incentives, and other measures. The service sector was buoyed by higher warehouse and support activities and health and social services. Enhancing growth, promoting prosperity: BIMSTEC retreat held in Bangkok On the demand side, growth in public consumption outpaced expectations, as did public investment. The ADO April 2023 forecast for growth in FY 2024 is unchanged at 6.5%. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is maintaining its growth outlook for developing economies in Asia and the Pacific at 4.8% this year, as robust domestic demand continues to support the region’s recovery. Inflation is expected to continue falling, approaching pre-pandemic levels as fuel and food prices decline, according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) July 2023, released on Wednesday (July 19, 2023). Bangladesh sets $72 billion export target with 11.52% growth for FY 2023-24 Inflation in developing Asia is forecasted at 3.6% this year, compared with an April forecast of 4.2%. The inflation outlook for 2024, meanwhile, is raised to 3.4% from an earlier estimate of 3.3%. The reopening of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is bolstering the region’s growth. The PRC’s economy is projected to expand 5.0% this year, unchanged from the April forecast, amid strong domestic demand in the services sector. However, demand for developing Asia’s exports of electronics and other manufactured goods is slowing, as monetary tightening drags on economic activity in major advanced economies. The region’s growth forecast for next year is marginally revised down to 4.7% from a 4.8% estimate in April. Despite over 8% revenue collection growth, Tk 44000 crore shortfall in FY 2022-23 “Asia and the Pacific continues to recover from the pandemic at a steady pace,” said ADB Chief Economist Albert Park. “Domestic demand and services activity are driving growth, while many economies are also benefiting from a strong recovery in tourism. However, industrial activity and exports remain weak, and the outlook for global growth and demand next year has worsened.”
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh on Sunday signed a loan agreement for $400 million to build a dual-gauge railway connecting Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar to promote trade, investment and tourism in Bangladesh. Sharifa Khan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, and Jiangbo Ning, ADB Deputy Country Director for Bangladesh signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively. The assistance forms the third part of $1.5 billion ADB loans for the SASEC Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project. ADB approves $400mn loan to Bangladesh to enhance revenues, reforms, help small businesses The loan will help complete the construction of the 102 kilometers of new railway line between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar. “ADB is assisting the government to shift from road to rail, which is a climate-friendly, safe, affordable, and efficient mode of transport”, said Jiangbo Ning. “The project is a priority investment and will open up the unserved areas of Cox’s Bazar region by promoting investment, trade and tourism.” “The project also integrates features that are friendly to the elderly, women, children, and people with disabilities,” Ning added. ADB lowers Bangladesh’s GDP growth forecast to 5.3% in FY 23 The new rail link, which is expected to open in 2023, aims to transport 2.9 million passengers annually between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar by 2024. The construction of this railway section is one of several ADB railway projects to help Bangladesh meet its targets under its Eighth Five-Year Plan and Railway Master Plan. ADB forecasts China, India to power strong growth in '23 Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway is part of the Trans-Asia Railway network, an initiative led by United Nations, aiming to provide seamless rail links between Asia and Europe to better connect people and markets, according to ADB.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday (June 14, 2023) approved a $400 million loan to Bangladesh to advance reforms in domestic resource mobilization, improve efficiency and productivity of public spending, and help small businesses – especially women-led businesses – to access low-cost innovative bank financing. This loan is ADB’s second subprogram of the Sustainable Economic Recovery Program that was launched in October 2021 to support economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. “This subprogram enables Bangladesh to enhance revenues, promote efficiency and transparency in public spending and public procurement, deepen the reforms of state-owned enterprises, and help small businesses and microentrepreneurs to access low-interest affordable credits from the banking sector,” said ADB Principal Public Management Economist for South Asia, Aminur Rahman. Read: Danish Minister Dan Jørgensen in Dhaka “The subprogram, with a strong focus on gender, climate change, and digitization, enables the government to strengthen its efforts to support income generation for the poor and vulnerable,” he added. The program will enhance income tax collection through the adoption of the new Income Tax Act, reduce tax loopholes, strengthen compliance and enforcement measures, and broaden the country’s tax net. Transparency and efficiency in public procurement will be enhanced through strengthening electronic procurement and electronic payment systems, while approval of public projects will be facilitated through the newly launched digital system of public project appraisal and approval process, according to ADB. Read: Letter from 6 members of European Parliament reflects views of signatories, Ambassador tells UNB The new package supports the launch of innovative financing services by Bangladesh Bank through commercial banks to provide low-cost microcredit using digital channels and e-wallet. It facilitates bank lending to marginalized and landless farmers, small traders, and low-income earners. Micro and small businesses and women entrepreneurs who do not possess land or property will also be able to access finance based on their trade receipts and other forms of nonfixed collaterals, such as small equipment and machinery. Promoting gender equality and social inclusion and addressing the climate change agenda in public investment and national budgeting are some of the key activities of this new program. Promoting gender equality and social inclusion and addressing the climate change agenda in public investment and national budgeting are some of the key activities of this new program. Read: UN asked to engage more effectively with Myanmar to commence Rohingya repatriation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh have signed agreements for $250 million in loans to strengthen climate and disaster resilience in 22 coastal towns in Bangladesh. Sharifa Khan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, and Jiangbo Ning, Deputy Country Director, ADB, signed the agreements on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively on Monday. “The project prioritizes local economic development in project towns by enhancing the livelihood resilience and adaptive capacity of vulnerable households through the graduation program in six project towns with high poverty levels,” said Deputy Country Director Jiangbo Ning. Read more: ADB to fund urban transport, climate resilience, renewables projects worth $628 million “The project will support the Government of Bangladesh in achieving integrated and sustainable urban development to improve the livability of coastal towns in the face of increasing climate-related disaster risks,” Deputy Country Director Jiangbo Ning. The assistance under the Coastal Towns Climate Resilience Project will develop infrastructure for building climate resilience in coastal towns, including infrastructure to improve urban flood risk management such as stormwater drainage, nature-based solutions, water body restoration, and integrated waste management. Cyclone shelters with early warning systems will be established, taking into account the needs of the elderly, women, children, and persons with special needs. Bridges, culverts, and roads with stormwater drainage will be constructed and rehabilitated. A comprehensive set of interventions in six project towns will be implemented to help vulnerable households, especially poor women, cope with climate shocks and develop livelihood resilience. These include climate risk assessment for diversifying livelihoods, household skills and resources mapping, enterprise and employment matching, and provision of livelihood training. Read more: Bangladesh mandates ADB to advise on $400million expressway connecting 10 economic zones The project will strengthen the knowledge and capacity of the Local Government Engineering Department and the project towns in managing climate and disaster resilience. They will be trained on nature-based and green solutions, gender equality and social inclusion-responsive climate and disaster risk sensitive master planning, and information technology-based remote monitoring to inform risk-based urban development plans and develop mitigation measures. The project will also enhance public awareness to prepare for future emergencies and crises. The ADB financing includes $246 million in regular and concessional loans and a $4 million grant from the Asian Development Fund. The Government of Bangladesh will contribute $60 million.