IFC plans to invest $5 billion in Bangladesh in 5 years
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has planned to invest $5 billion in diversified sectors in Bangladesh such as light engineering, economic zones, financial and capital markets, and growth-enabling sustainable infrastructure in the next five years.
Hector Gomez Ang, IFC regional director for South Asia, made the comment today after the end of his five-day visit to Bangladesh.
During his visit, Ang held meetings with senior government officials, private sector representatives, think tanks, potential new clients and other key stakeholders, according to a statement of IFC.
Ang was accompanied by IFC's recently appointed Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, Martin Holtmann, as well as senior IFC industry experts.
While talking about the investment plan, Ang said IFC aims to double its investments in Bangladesh within the next five years, with a focus on creating new jobs, with new investments to help accelerate the country's resilient recovery and to spur green growth.
Energy and energy transmission as well as infrastructure to improve the quality of healthcare in Bangladesh, in the wake of COVID 19 impacts, and the need for affordable housing were among the areas singled out by Ang as targets for investment, the statement said.
He said IFC promotes energy diversification and already supports more than 20 per cent of the private power generation in Bangladesh. "We are looking to do more in terms of the energy mix and transmission, and also to explore new opportunities in healthcare, education, climate and economic zones, and green, affordable housing."
"An upper middle-income Bangladesh starts with a livable Dhaka, and we are eager to develop the affordable housing sector which is critical for inclusive growth," Ang said.
Speaking after a meeting with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Gomez Ang stressed the need for Bangladesh to spur more foreign direct investments to help the country realise its ambitions.
"Graduation from least developed countries (LDC) to a developing country status presents a challenge, so, it's imperative for Bangladesh to look to foreign direct investments and external commercial borrowing for sustainable growth and Bangladesh's transition," he said. "Our discussions with the Government of Bangladesh have been very promising and we look forward to closer collaboration."
Ang said this was a critical time for Bangladesh's development journey, and the private sector has a pivotal role to play in Bangladesh's sustained growth and to take it to the next stage of development.
"IFC remains committed to the country – especially in the wake of the impact of COVID-19. During the first 18 months of the pandemic, we have invested $470 million to help businesses and sustain jobs," said Martin Holtmann.
"These investments are helping keep businesses afloat, resume exports, and preserve jobs. We intend to invest another further $250 million during the current fiscal year ending in June 2022."
Since 2010, IFC has invested over $3.5 billion to help the private sector grow in Bangladesh.