S Korea to give $700m in loans
South Korea has decided to provide development cooperation loans of $700 million to Bangladesh between 2021 and 2025.
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh, Lee Jang-keun, shared the decision with Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin at the official development assistance (ODA) projects review meeting held virtually yesterday, according to a statement of the embassy.
The two governments have been discussing this plan since last year and, upon the completion of necessary domestic procedures, will sign a framework agreement containing detailed conditions and the list of potential projects to be considered.
At the meeting, the Korean embassy and the Bangladesh ERD reviewed a number of other ongoing and new development assistance projects between the two governments, including those under implementation through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Bangladesh is a priority development partner of South Korea and the second-largest recipient of Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) loan.
Korea has provided Bangladesh $1.24 billion in EDCF loans and $172 million in grants through KOICA since 1991 in various sectors, including public administration, vocational training and education, transport, ICT-based communication, public administration, water management, and public health.
At the meeting, the South Korean embassy introduced Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP), a platform for development cooperation aiming to share knowledge with development partner countries and build a solid foundation for the expansion of economic and political cooperation.
The embassy recommended that the ERD consider ways to improve the efficiency of development cooperation, including facilitation of customs clearance and tax exemption on grant equipment and items in accordance with the framework agreement for grant aid between the two governments.
Officials from the ERD, Korea EXIM Bank Bangladesh, KOICA Bangladesh and Korea Development Institute also took part in the meeting.