Asian Development Bank president Masatsugu Asakawa

Lauding highly the socio-economic progress and capacity of Bangladesh, visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Masatsugu Asakawa on Monday said that the lending agency would continue to stand beside Bangladesh in the coming days like in the past.

The ADB has been continuing to stand beside Bangladesh in its stride towards socio-economic recovery from the pandemic and would continue to support Bangladesh in future also, he said, reports news agency BSS.

The ADB president said this as he met finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a city hotel on Monday, said a finance ministry press release.

The ADB president has been visiting Bangladesh on 12-17 March marking the 50 years partnership of ADB and Bangladesh.

The finance minister lauded the role of ADB as one of the leading development partners since 1973 in the development journey of Bangladesh.

He informed that in the last 50 years, ADB made a commitment of $28.4 billion to Bangladesh of which it made a disbursement of $21.1 billion till date. Bangladesh also made a repayment of $6.5 billion as principal amount during this period.

Kamal said that the outstanding loan of Bangladesh with ADB is now $14.6 billion which is also 24 per cent of the country’s overall foreign loans. Over the last few years, Bangladesh has become the 3rd largest loan recipient country from ADB.

The finance minister apprised the ADB President that Bangladesh has become the 35th largest economy of the world with a GDP size or $460 billion.

Besides, he expressed his belief that Bangladesh would become one of the top 20 economies of the world by 2041.

“Now our goal is to turn Bangladesh into a smart country by 2041 under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in line with Vision 2041,” he added.

Mustafa Kamal also expressed his firm belief that the ADB would play an important role in materialising “Smart Bangladesh,” in the coming days.

Bangladesh Bank governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, NBR chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, Finance Division senior secretary Fatima Yasmin, Financial Institutions Division secretary Shaikh Md Salim Ullah, ERD secretary Sharifa Khan, ADB’s South Asia Department director general Kenichi Yokoyama, alternate executive director (AED) Azizul Alam, ADB’s country director for Bangladesh Edimon Ginting were present, among others, on the occasion.