4:42 pm - Monday January 18, 8596

ADB lauds Bangladesh for steady growth, poverty reduction

Visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Nakao praised Bangladesh for its strong economic growth in recent years, and achievements in poverty reduction and other areas of social development.

The appreciation came when the visiting ADB President Nakao called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister Abul Maal A.Muhith, and discussed the continuation of the four-decade partnership between Bangladesh and the Manila-based lender on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

adb1ADB chief arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day visit to discuss more aid for Bangladesh.

He is slated to inspect five ADB-funded projects on Monday.

Nakao urged more efforts to boost infrastructure, skills, and the business climate as it targets middle-income status, the bank said in a statement.

He told the Bangladeshi officials that ADB will continue to assist the country’s efforts to address infrastructure needs, including power, gas, roads, railways and urban services; and secondary education and vocational training.

ADB will also strengthen support to regional connectivity and energy trade, while continuing to support investments to enhance agriculture and rural productivity for higher income and more jobs, said the statement.

President Nakao stressed the importance of strengthened investment in infrastructure, the statement said.

To do that, the government must increase tax revenues as a ratio to GDP, expand the use of public-private partnerships, and improve procedures of project approvals and their implementation.

“ADB is also trying to improve its own internal process to accelerate procurement and project management, as well as delegating more authority to resident missions including the one in Dhaka.”

The Bangladesh economy grew by 6.0 percent in fiscal year 2012- 2013 (July 2012-June 2013). According to preliminary official estimates, GDP grew by 6.1 in fiscal year 2013-2014 (July 2013- June 2014).

The country has also experienced a steep fall in poverty levels from 56.7 percent in 1991 to 31.5 percent in 2010 a drop of more than 25 percentage points in two decades, said the ADB statement.