The Financial Express

$700 million Korean aid for Bangladesh in next five years

| Updated: October 12, 2021 11:39:45

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Dhaka is set to strike an economic-cooperation deal with Seoul today (Tuesday) as the latter will provide some $700-million aid in the next five years.

For the first time in its economic ties, South Korea has assured Bangladesh of providing the record-highest assistance between 2021 and 2025, Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said on Monday.

ERD secretary Fatima Yasmin and Korean ambassador in Dhaka Lee Jang-keun are expected to ink the agreement in Dhaka.

A senior ERD official said the East-Asian country would invest mainly in infrastructure development here.

Seoul has assured Dhaka of supplying adequate funds for building the Kalurghat rail-cum-road bridge on the Karnaphuli river in Chattogram, he added.

It has also proposed to support Dhaka WASA in its water supply development and establishment of training institute, bus procurement for the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.

South Korea has long ties with Bangladesh as it has emerged one of the key bilateral partners since 1993.

Seoul has so far confirmed $1.33 billion in assistance for Dhaka through its nearly 23 development projects.

Of the Korea-funded schemes, 15 have already been done and the rest are ongoing, official sources said.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University is currently setting up a super-specialised hospital with the support of $277-million Korean soft loan.

The Korean republic usually delivers aid to Bangladesh through its development agency KOICA.

Another ERD official said Korea was gradually increasing its economic support for Bangladesh.

According to the Korean embassy, an estimated 200 Korean companies are operating in Bangladesh, contributing to both the economies.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries has reached approximately $1.6 billion.

Under the special arrangement between the two countries, more than 10,000 Bangladeshis are working in Korea under its employment permit system.

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