The Asian Development Bank will extend credit support beyond its commitment if Bangladesh can improve its spending capability by accelerating project implementation, ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang said yesterday.
“We will increase our lending to Bangladesh, but it depends on how many projects are ready to implement in the country.”
“We can do more if the Bangladesh government wants to borrow from ADB; but it is not only about approval. We want to make sure that the projects are ready,” he said.
Speaking at a press briefing at the ADB's Dhaka office, Zhang said the ADB would like to provide $18 billion to Bangladesh in five years. “We may provide $1.8-$2 billion by 2017 and we delivered over $1.1 billion last year.”
On the last day of his three-day visit to Bangladesh, Zhang met Finance Minister AMA Muhith and State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid yesterday.
Zhang said he discussed how to improve project disbursement, in his meeting with the finance minister and the finance secretary.
The ADB will approve a project soon to support the energy sector to help Bangladesh in generating more power by 2021.
Zhang shed light on regional co-operation for power export and import, in his meeting with the state minister for energy.
The ADB will help Bangladesh in building transmission lines to trade power with India and Bhutan, he said.
Three countries have already rectified the draft of BBIN agreement, but Bhutan is yet to rectify. “We are ready to support the implementation but it is not so easy.” About the impact of the coal-fired power plant at the Sundarbans, he said: “I believe that super technology will be used to minimise the negative effect of the power projects on environment.”
Zhang said Bangladesh has achieved a good progress to graduate to a middle income country and the private sector has a significant role to play.
He suggested Bangladesh ensure good governance, strengthen capital market and remove infrastructure bottlenecks to materialise the graduation properly.