The Financial Express

IMF board likely to approve $4.5b loan for Bangladesh on Jan 30

| Updated: January 25, 2023 14:09:18

Reuters file photo Reuters file photo

The executive board of International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to consider approving the $4.5 billion loan programme with Bangladesh on January 30.

Visiting Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of IMF Antoinette M. Sayeh said this in a statement after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.

Ms Sayeh also met with Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal and Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Sunday.

“I congratulated them on Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth and social development in last decades, which have allowed steady progress in poverty reduction and significant improvements in living standards,” she said in the statement.

Ms Sayeh said the macroeconomic policies in recent years have helped keep inflation stable, debt-to-GDP ratio low in Bangladesh.

She said just like countries around the world, Bangladesh is now dealing with the impact of global shocks – first from the pandemic and then from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“We discussed the impact of these shocks on Bangladesh’s economy, and I welcomed Bangladesh’s comprehensive set of measures to deal with them – including their focus on ensuring protection for the vulnerable during these difficult times.”

Bangladesh and the IMF recently reached a staff-level agreement under the Extended Credit Facility, Extended Fund Facility, and the IMF’s new Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF), to support the authorities’ home-grown reform agenda.

“In our discussion, we focused on the key elements of this programme, including the long-standing challenges of raising tax revenues, and building a more efficient financial sector,” she said.

Reforms in these areas, combined with measures to facilitate private investments and export diversification, will help create conditions to make Bangladesh’s economy more resilient and support long-term, inclusive and sustainable growth, added her statement.

She said the two sides also discussed Bangladesh’s plans to address the longer-term challenges related to climate change that could threaten macroeconomic stability.

“The IMF’s RSF aims to provide affordable, long-term financing to support Bangladesh’s climate investment needs, catalyse climate financing, and reduce balance of payment pressures from import-intensive climate investment.”

“The IMF executive board is expected to consider approving the programme with Bangladesh on January 30,” she noted.

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