Visiting Asian Development Bank vice-president Wencai Zhang on Thursday said that aids flow from the bank in Bangladesh would be increased if the government could ‘ready’ projects.
ADB has projected to provide $1.8 billion to $2 billion aid in the current calendar year, Zhang said at a press conference at the ADB office in Dhaka.
He also said ADB would give loans worth $8 billion in the next five years.
In 2016, the ADB provided aids worth $1.1 billion, he added.
During his meeting with finance minister AMA Muhith, Zhang said he stressed the need for
speeding up the implementation of the projects.
He said ADB was interested to give loans to the projects which would facilitate connectivity, transport infrastructure, rural development, education and energy.
He described Bangladesh as a potential country to become a regional hub.
Zhang, however, said the country is facing a lot of challenges in the areas of human resources, private sector investment and connectivity between the capital and other cities, mainly Chittagong.
Noting the notorious traffic congestion in the capital, he said the government should take measures to address the problem.
Answering a question on ADB’s stand on the ‘controversial’ Rampal thermal power plant close to the Sunderbans, Zheng said ADB would not give loans to any coal fired power plant projects in Bangladesh.
He said ADB would only give loans to produce renewable energy and improving electricity transmission system.
He expected that government would ensure emission of carbon from the coal fired power plants at a minimum level.
Answering to another question, Zheng said ADB was always ready to help Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal to implement the motor vehicle agreement among them.
He said all four countries except Bhutan ratified the agreement that was signed by the countries in 2015.
ADB has been advocating for cross border connectivity for long, but Bhutanese stand not to ratify the agreement served a blow to the connectivity in this region.
Calling ADB an ‘honest broker’, Zheng also promised to help Bangladesh to import proposed hydro-power from Bhutan through India.
The country’s import of power from Bhutan depends on Indian’s consent to use its territory for transmission.
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