German-Bangladesh consultation from May 7 to review projects

The two-day biennial German-Bangladesh consultation, 2014 will be held in the capital on May 7-8 to review the implementation of the existing German-funded projects in Bangladesh as well as their possible future funding.

“The two-day consultation will focus on review of the German-funded projects as well as future funding by Germany…representatives of the line ministries will attend the meeting,” Economic Relations Division Additional Secretary Abul Mansur Md Faizullah told the news media UNB.

bd-zermanThe consultation will take place at the NEC-II at city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar where a 35-member Bangladesh delegation comprising representatives from different ministries concerned would be led by Mansur himself.

Wolfgang Hruschka, acting Head of South Asia Division at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation Development of German, will lead an 11-member German delegation to the meeting.

The ERD Additional Secretary informed that Germany has so far shifted its focus on Bangladesh to three priority areas — energy efficiency and renewable energy, the rule of law and adaptation to climate change in urban areas.

Working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) Bangladesh was concentrating on three priority areas — Energy efficiency and renewable energy, the rule of law, justice and local good governance and health — until the end of 2013.

Mansur informed the news agency that Germany, after a long interval of 20 years, is coming up with soft loan assistance for Bangladesh in its power sector.

He said this bilateral development partner of Bangladesh would provide 60 million Euros, including 15 million Euros in grants, to improve power transmission line in the west zone.

Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) will implement the project while the KfW is conducting a study which is expected to be completed within two to three months. Upon discussion, the agreement for the assistance is likely to be inked by this December.

Another official at the ERD said Germany earlier had sent the draft summary record of this consultation to ERD in the first week of April this year. Then the ERD sent the draft summary record of the two-day consultation to the ministries concerned alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for their opinion.

On April 20, an inter-ministerial meeting on the upcoming German-Bangladesh consultation was held at the ERD with ERD Additional Secretary Abul Mansur Md Faizullah in the chair where the ministries related to the German-funded projects put forward their opinions.

In light of this meeting, another preparatory meeting was held at the ERD on April 24 where the German side comprising representatives from German embassy in Dhaka, GIZ and KfW Development Bank were apprised about the draft paper of the consultation.

The official said the consultation would look forward to make the ongoing German-funded projects user-friendly as well as to discuss in details the future plan.

He further said there are currently 24 German-funded projects in Bangladesh of which 14 projects are being funded by GIZ and 10 projects by KfW.

According to the flow of external resources for 2012-13 fiscal year released by the ERD, Germany has provided a total of $ 1788.1 million foreign aid to Bangladesh since the country’s independence, including $ 1520.2 million in grants and $ 267.9 million in loans.