PM’s tour of the US: Economy top of the mind
The economy would be the main agenda of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her seven-day tour of the US that began yesterday.
On May 1, she would be calling into the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC to attend an event marking 50 years of partnership between Bangladesh and the multilateral lender on the invitation of David Malpass, the outgoing president of the World Bank Group.
At the event, Bangladesh will be showcased as a model of development, where the WB played an important role in the last five decades.
Hasina and Malpass will address a seminar titled "Reflection on 50 years of Bangladesh-World Bank Partnership".
Kaushik Basu, a former chief economist of the WB; Martin Raiser, the WB's vice-president for South Asia; Abdoulaye Seck, the WB's country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, will speak at the event.
Hasina will also hold a meeting with the WB board of directors.
On the day, Bangladesh will sign five loan agreements of $2.25 billion, including a $500 million budget support.
Ahead of the PM's visit to Washington DC, the WB board endorsed the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2023-2027 that would equip Bangladesh to face the headwinds of graduation from the LDC country bracket.
That CPF would be presented to Hasina on the day.
The CPF will support Bangladesh's goal to achieve upper-middle-income country status by 2031 by helping the country address key barriers to higher and sustainable growth, Seck said.
It will help develop a diversified and competitive private sector to create more and better jobs; promote socioeconomic inclusion to expand opportunities for all; and address climate and environmental vulnerabilities.
"As Bangladesh aims to be more prosperous, it will need stronger institutions and policies to serve the needs of an upper-middle-income country. This CPF will support the government's reform programmes to deliver jobs and support inclusion and resilience," Seck added.
"Bangladesh is one of the most exciting markets in the world right now and one of the most inspiring development stories of the past two decades."
On May 2, Hasina will hold a meeting with the US-Bangladesh Business Council (USBBC) centring on the theme of "US-Bangladesh Economic Cooperation". The meeting will advance discussions on bilateral trade and smart growth.
"Bangladesh is one of the most exciting markets in the world right now and one of the most inspiring development stories of the past two decades," said Atul Keshap, the new president of USBBC, in a statement.
Keshap is also the president of the US-India Business Council.
"Bangladesh's anticipated graduation from LDC status in 2026 presents a potent moment for the American business community to expand their ambitions in the nation, and for the US and Bangladesh to shape a forward-looking trade vision geared towards a new and rising Bangladesh," he added.
While in Washington DC, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva will pay a courtesy call on Hasina.
She will also sit for an interview with the eminent weekly magazine The Economist and address a community reception.