ADB doubles commitment for next three years
The Asian Development Bank is ready to lend $8.01 billion to Bangladesh over the next three years, almost the double the amount it had committed in the previous three years.
Between 2015 and 2017, the Manila-based multilateral lender committed $4.08 billion.
The ADB has already sent an indicative plan to the government about its intent to bankroll various mega projects with the view to reducing high transport and logistics costs and improving access to domestic, regional and international markets.
It will focus on the development of transport corridors integrating roads, railways and ports in order to ease congestion, improve climate resilience, continue institutional reforms and facilitate trade.
The ADB will continue to support the development of the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Railway corridor, add the Dhaka-Southwest road corridor to the pipeline and support investments in the Chittagong Port.
The lender will also support the improvement of public transport in the capital through the Dhaka Metro Rail project and work towards developing high-speed rail corridors, logistics and inland waterways.
In April, an ADB mission visited Bangladesh and held talks with concerned officials, said an official of the Economic Relations Division.
Of the $8.01 billion, $4.33 billion is available for commitment right away. Of the sum, $1.45 billion will be given in 2019, $1.42 billion in 2020 and $1.47 billion in 2021.
Some 31 projects are ready for implementation under this, according to the ERD official.
The remaining $3.68 billion are on standby: $1.18 billion can be used in 2019, $1.23 billion in 2020 and $1.27 billion in 2021.
If projects are ready to roll, funds will be given from the standby allocation, according to the ERD official. The development lender does not approve a project before it is ready.
The ADB's new lending will be in energy, transport, education, water and urban services, agriculture and rural development.
The bank will provide about $140 million for the Bangladesh-India grid interconnection project, $35 million in technical assistance loan for the Dhaka Metro line-5 (South) and $250 million in investment for the first phase of the same project.
Some $100 million will go towards LNG imports, $200 million for LNG transmission pipeline, $200 million for Dhaka-Chittagong high-speed rail, and $200 million for Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway project.
In 2018, the resource available is $1.64 billion, and ad of July the ADB board has approved $1.19 billion.