Bangladesh takes IMF loan as a ‘breathing space’: PM Hasina

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva pays a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting room of The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington DC, the US, on 29 April 2023

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh has taken a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a “breathing space” while the global lender assured of continuing to provide such support in future.

“We have taken the loan from the IMF as breathing space,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told a news briefing quoting the prime minister as saying.

The prime minister made the remarks when an IMF delegation led by its Managing Director (MD) Kristalina Georgieva paid a courtesy call on her at the meeting room of The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington DC in the afternoon (local time).

The IMF had recently approved a loan of 4.7 billion US dollar for Bangladesh.

The foreign minister further said that the IMF managing director highly praised the unprecedented advancement of Bangladesh in various sectors under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina which makes Bangladesh economy stable after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Bangladesh is a role model in the world (in terms of its overall development) which makes its economy stable even after the Coronavirus pandemic,” Momen said quoting the IMF managing director.

The IMF chief said leadership like Bangladesh prime minister is necessary to go ahead towards prosperity confronting all the hurdles.

She said Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress due to establishing massive infrastructure development, well connectivity and maintaining the law and order.

Kristalina also hailed the maintaining stability in the macro economy even in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh’s prime minister apprised the IMF chief of her government initiatives to make sure the overall development of her country.

“The development of the country has not made in a day rather it’s a result of longtime planning,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said that she prepared the plan on how she wanted to develop Bangladesh when she was in jail after the political changeover (in 2007) and started working with the plan after assuming power for the second time in 2009.

She apprised the IMF managing director of Bangladesh’s measures to fight the adverse impact of the climate change and women empowerment.

The prime minister also hailed the role of IMF in the journey of Bangladesh’s development and wish continuation of the support in future.

During the briefing, Bangladesh Bank governor Abdur Rouf Talukder said the IMF has always stand by Bangladesh in the last 14 years to maintain stability in the macro economy and also gave required advices as the country never derailed from it.

Bangladesh is currently engaged with a programme of 4.7 billion US dollar with IMF which Bangladesh has got only two weeks negotiation despite the fact many countries cannot avail the loan after negotiation of years, he said.

“IMF will continue such kind of cooperation in future,” Rouf said quoting the IMF chief.

Finance division senior secretary Fatima Yasmin and Economic Relations Division secretary Sharifa Khan were present during the briefing.