Bangladesh asked to raise in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing to $12 bil­lion an­nu­ally

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DHAKA: Bangladesh should raise spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture to $12 bil­lion an­nu­ally, par­tic­u­larly in en­ergy, trans­port and ports, de­vel­op­ment part­ners have told it, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Abul Maal Ab­dul Muhith said yes­ter­day. Bangladesh cur­rently spends just 3 per­cent of GDP in this sec­tor. About 40 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the World Bank, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, the US Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID) and the Euro­pean Union at­tended a two-day meet­ing on de­vel­op­ment is­sues in Bangladesh.

Muhith told re­porters: “Our aim is to raise eco­nomic growth to 8.0 per­cent by 2020 from 6.5 per­cent now, to be­come a mid­dle-in­come coun­try.” He said sev­eral new projects would be re­flected in the bud­get for the next fis­cal year be­gin­ning in June 2016. Jin Liqun, pres­i­dent-des­ig­nate of the Chin­abacked Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank, said: “Bangladesh is our new, im­por­tant mem­ber and our aim will be to sup­port it to boost the econ­omy.” But he said Bangladesh needed bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture to achieve in­dus­trial growth.

Wen­cai Zhang, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank, told re­porters the bank would pro­vide $5 bil­lion in as­sis­tance to Bangladesh. The meet­ing also called on Bangladesh to re­duce its de­pen­dence on for­eign aid, to work more closely with the pri­vate sec­tor on ma­jor projects and to en­sure good gov­er­nance to max­i­mize the use of re­sources. —Reuters

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