Loan and grant projects of Asian Development Bank have created huge business opportunity in the country and now it is the time for the private and public sectors to go hand in hand to achieve the target of a prosperous Bangladesh, officials of Bangladesh government and ADB said on Sunday.
‘ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty,’ ADB country director Manmohan Parkash said at a seminar titled ‘Bangladesh - A Land of Opportunity’.
ADB organised the seminar at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in capital Dhaka.
Manmohan said that they were increasing the operations of ADB in Bangladesh and the seminar was showcasing its achievements and opportunities.
‘The event also focuses on how we are reforming to cater to the growing needs of our developing member countries in light of business requirements and how we can attract good quality contractors and consultants to work with us to deliver Bangladesh development goals,’ he said.
According to Manmohan, the Manila-based lender has 94 loans and grants for 54 projects worth over $10.3 billion under sovereign portfolio in Bangladesh.
He said that ADB approved loans and grants worth $2.35 billion in 2018 and the portfolio volume had increased by 300 per cent in last 10 years.
Manmohan said that ADB focused its cooperation on six sectors including energy, transport, water and urban/municipal infrastructure and services, education, finance and agriculture, natural resources and rural development.
He also said that ADB’s cumulative lending to Bangladesh stood at around $22 billion and 77 per cent of which for infrastructure.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said that the event organised by ADB would draw attention of local and global investors and it would be helpful for branding Bangladesh.
He extended his gratitude to ADB saying that the bank was with them when World Bank refused to finance Padma Bridge.
Citing a number of ongoing mega projects Tofail said that ADB was a long-trusted development partner of Bangladesh and the government was implementing a good number of projects including power plants, deep sea port and flyover with the finance of ADB.
Taksim A Khan, managing director of Dhaka WASA, said that ADB created huge opportunity for the private sector business.
It also created opportunity for Bangladeshi contractors and consultants to work abroad and foreign people to work here.
Safiqul Islam, additional secretary of road transport and bridges ministry, said that although ADB created huge business opportunity, country’s export sector still depended on only one pillar — readymade garment.
Dependency on one product is vulnerable and diversification is important for sustainable export earnings, he said.
Safiqul also said infrastructure was important for export business and the contribution of ADB would enhance the export growth of the country.
He said that the private and public sector should go hand in hand to achieve sustainable economic development of the country.
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