WB pledges $2.0b for BD climate projects

Dhaka,  Wed,  26 October 2016
Published : 19 Oct 2016, 00:33:20

WB pledges $2.0b for BD climate projects

Kim pledges efforts to help attract pvt investment
FE Report

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pledged Tuesday US$2.0 billion for the next three years for financing projects to mitigate the climate change impacts in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of the climate change impact. The world community should come forward with their support to mitigate the impacts," he told a press briefing at World Bank (WB) Dhaka office, concluding his two-day visit to Bangladesh.

Mr Kim also lauded security measures Bangladesh has taken following the recent Dhaka café attack, saying: "It is impressive."

He said that there is not a single country in the world that is free from the possibility of terrorist acts - be it the United States or Belgium and France.

He also appreciated the security he received during the last two days of his visit. "I am very impressed with the quality of the security. But it just needs to monitor strictly that popping up across the world."

The World Bank chief, however, expressed concern over the business environment in Bangladesh and suggested policy reforms to improve business climate as the foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh lags behind from some of its neighbours.

"The country which wants to attract private investments will need mobilising more funds to improve infrastructure," he said.

"It is the key to give impression to the private sector investors that the business environment is conducive to getting them involved to coming in Bangladesh."

He added: "One of the commitments to the honourable Prime Minister-we will provide as much technical assistance as Bangladesh would like in terms of improving the business environment."

He said the World Bank does not know much about the country's business environment, but know how countries all over the world had improved their business environment. "Those experiences could be helpful for Bangladesh."

Mr Kim suggested the country to improve its institutional capacity. He also dealt on the country's seventh five-year plan that emphasised on governance, which includes building strong civil service, judiciary, public banks, tax collections and anti-corruption commission.

"The real opportunity in the world today is to recruit some of the capitals that now bear very low interest and sitting on the sideline at this moment," he said. "This is the real opportunity to prepare the infrastructure projects that will tap the private sector investment."

He pledged to work with the government to improve the business environment, improve institutional capacity. In addition, the bank would try to bring more resources from the private sector in addition to what they would be funding.

"My team of WB will do all possible works to create jobs and end poverty in Bangladesh," said the President.

About the bank's policy on corruptions in the projects, he said: "The policy and corruption is same in every country and in every culture. We have zero tolerance in corruptions and we will act in evidence."

I am very impressed about the strong commitment in the five-year plan from all the government officials, he added.

The World Bank president lauded all the innovations that Bangladesh brought on the table - inclusion of women in the development process, women in legislative bodies.

"So, in recognition to all these innovations, we are committed to taking these innovations to other countries in the world."

Mr Kim called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visited WB-funded projects in Barisal on the second day of his visit. He left Bangladesh late night Tuesday.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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