Bangladesh topped the list of all the developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank in terms of loan disbursement ratio last year, followed by China, Pakistan, India and Vietnam.
With a total disbursed amount of $823 million, the disbursement ratio -- 23.4 percent -- for Bangladesh was the highest among the top five countries, an ADB report said.
The report, titled “2016 Development Effectiveness Review”, was released yesterday in Yokohama, Japan at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Bank's Board of Governors.
After the Saarc finance ministers' meeting held on the sidelines of the meeting, Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith expressed satisfaction at better disbursement of ADB loans in Bangladesh.
Talking to reporters about the report findings, Muhith said Bangladesh has been a “star performer” in terms of utilising funds from the ADB and the World Bank, reports UNB.
"Our utilisation capacity has definitely improved, but we aren't satisfied yet as there is still so much fund in the pipeline and the pipeline is very big," he said.
According to the report, ADB's loan disbursements posted a new high of $12.48 billion in 2016 surpassing marginally the previous record of $12.34 billion in 2015.
In terms of loan disbursement ratio, Bangladesh is followed by China (19.7 percent), Pakistan (19.6 percent), India (18.2 percent) and Vietnam (13.8 percent).
However, in terms of loan amount, India accounted for a record $1.38 billion, followed by China ($1.31 billion), Pakistan ($838 million), Bangladesh ($823 million), and Vietnam ($707 million).
Together these five countries accounted for 66 percent of all sovereign projects and result based loan (RBL) disbursements in 2016, the ADB report added.
The report attributed the highest disbursement ratio in Bangladesh to a concerted effort by the staff of ADB's South Asia Department, including the Bangladesh Resident Mission, to pursue potential disbursements and advance actions, realise additional disbursements from 2016 contract awards through timely mobilisation of advances, and execute loan savings effectively.
In another report, “Partnering for Development: Donor Report 2016”, also released at the ADB annual meet in Yokohama yesterday, the bank said co-financing operations of the ADB hit a new record in 2016, exceeding the $14 billion mark and reflecting the importance of partnerships in addressing Asia and the Pacific's continuously growing development needs.
As stated in the report, ADB leveraged $14.06 billion in co-financing last year, boosting the bank's total annual operations to $31.7 billion -- the highest ever in ADB's 50-year history.
Bangladesh also got a small pie of the ADB's big cake of co-financing last year.
“ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [AIIB] agreed to strengthen cooperation and pursue co-financing of key infrastructure projects in Asia and the Pacific through a memorandum of understanding signed in May 2016,” said the report.
“Two projects with co-financing amounting to a total of $160 million have been approved: a road project in Pakistan and a natural gas project in Bangladesh,” the report stated.
The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 member states, including 48 from the region.
Meanwhile, as the ADB 50th year celebrations gathered momentum in Yokohama, series of parallel sessions had a wide range agenda for discussions yesterday including the governors' seminar on future implications of lessons learnt in the past 50 years, bridging Asia's infrastructure gap and women leadership.