Visiting Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Antoinette Monsio Sayeh today said that the IMF Board is likely to consider the $4.5 billion loan to Bangladesh on January 30.
“The IMF Executive Board is expected to consider approving the program with Bangladesh on January 30,” she said in a statement.
Sayeh said she was very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, and Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder.
“I congratulated them on Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth and social development in the last decades, which have allowed steady progress in poverty reduction and significant improvements in living standards. Macroeconomic policies in recent years have helped keep inflation stable, debt-to-GDP ratio low, and external buffers adequate,” she added.
Just like countries around the world, the IMF Deputy Managing Director said 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,” she added.
Sayeh said 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 program’s key elements, including the long-standing challenges of raising tax revenues, and building a more efficient financial sector,” she added.
The IMF high official said reforms in these areas, combined with measures to facilitate private investments and export diversification would help create conditions to make Bangladesh’s economy more resilient and support long-term, inclusive and sustainable growth.
Sayeh said they 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, catalyze climate financing, and reduce the balance of payment pressures from import-intensive climate investment,” she added.