Bangladesh has sought $8 billion from the $52 billion pot that the World Bank is set to dispatch over the next three years, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
The disclosure came at the press conference called in at his secretariat office about his recent official visits to Washington DC and Mexico City for the WB-IMF spring meetings and Global Partnership and Economic Development Cooperation (GPEDC) respectively.
In the last cycle, the country received around $6.5 billion, and Muhith said a higher amount was sought this time as the country has proved that it can utilise foreign assistance well.
“In various sectors such as health, education, water and sanitation, the country's performance is better than its peers.”
The finance minister said the relation with the WB took a turn for worse over the Padma bridge issue in 2012 but it has improved much now, while citing the $2.8 billion committed by the global lender for the current fiscal year, the highest in the country's history. The level of assistance from the International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, too, increased.
Meanwhile, Mesbah Uddin, secretary of the Economic Relations Division, said the GPEDC meeting has been very successful in the context of Bangladesh.
The joint statement published after the Mexico meeting said the least-developed countries succeeded in pushing forward their demands, he said.
“We projected our demand for more foreign assistance to the infrastructure sector as it plays a significant role in poverty alleviation,” the ERD secretary added.
Arastoo Khan, additional secretary of ERD, said the increase in GDP-tax ratio in the last five years was lauded in the WB-IMF spring meeting.