Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the development partners to focus on giving soft loans till the world economy comes into normalcy overcoming the economic recession steaming from the Russia-Ukraine war.
“It is necessary to continue giving soft loans until the global economy returns to normalcy. The organizations and the developed countries would have to give special focus on it,” she said.
The prime minister was addressing as the chief guest a programme marking the celebration of the golden jubilee of the Bangladesh-Asian Development Bank (ADB) partnership at a city hotel here.
She expressed her grave concern over the trend of increasing interest rates against loans by the development partners even in the global crisis of the Russia-Ukraine war, economic sanctions,s and counter-sanctions which in most cases make their financing of development projects ineffective.
“We don’t want kindness from anyone, rather we want our due rights from the global partners,” she said.
The prime minister also expressed her resentment over imposing unnecessary restrictions by business partners, saying: “It (restrictions) sends our economies in danger”.
In the current global context, she urged the IMF to develop flexible and innovative financing in accelerating skill, health, ICT, infrastructure development, climate change, and human resource development.
The premier however thanked the ADB for supporting Bangladesh in its need, saying the ADB’s cooperation has increased three times in the last one and a half decade since Awami League assumed power in 2009.
She added: “We are seeing with pleasure that the ADB always stands beside Bangladesh in our bad times with innovative financing and technological support.”
The premier recalled with gratitude that the ADB gave $2.29 billion in support during the Covid-19 pandemic to deal with health emergencies and $230 million to overcome the damages of the flood in Bangladesh’s north-western part.
She added: “The relations between Bangladesh and the IMF will be strengthened in the days to come.”
President of ADB Masatsugu Asakawa, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, and Economic Relations Division Secretary Sharifa Khan spoke at the programme.
ADB Country Director to Bangladesh Edimon Ginting gave the concluding speech.
A video documentary on how Bangladesh-ADB relations evolved and how Bangladesh made progress over the 50 years and the recent time was also screened.