Dhaka becomes IDB's regional hub

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally open the office Sunday

The Islamic Development Bank will officially launch its regional office in Dhaka next week.

The IDB has taken the decision as part of its ongoing decentralisation push – a move that is expected to help the lender take quick decisions on projects.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the regional hub in presence of IDB President Bandar MH Hajjar on Sunday.

Hajjar will begin his five-day visit to Dhaka on Friday.

The office will be set up in the IDB Bhaban in Agargaon and will be the 12th hub of the development lender. According to Economic Relations Division (ERD), the regional office will cover member countries such as Bangladesh and the Maldives and some non-member Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China.

Currently, the IDB has a representative office in Dhaka, but it can not take policy decisions without permission from its headquarters in Jeddah.

Officials of the ERD said Bangladesh and the IDB signed an agreement to set up the regional office in 2015. Last year, the IDB president also revealed his plan to establish the office during a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in Jeddah.

Establishment of the regional headquarters will help the IDB take quick decisions on project activities, said an ERD official. The office will be headed by a regional hub manager. Established in 1973, the IDB has 57 shareholding member-states. Bangladesh is one of the largest recipients of the IDB group financing.

Since joining the bank in 1974, Bangladesh has received $17 billion in trade finance and $2.18 billion in project finance.  Of the funds, about 10.01 percent was concessional and 89.5 percent non-concessional.

According to the Foreign Aid Budgetary Account of the ERD, Bangladesh was the fourth largest recipient of the IDB financing in 2017, receiving $900.6 million. The amount was 9.2 percent of the IDB's total financing for the year. 


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