The Bangladesh Bank is gearing up to launch a digital bank in the country, as announced by Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Wednesday, May 24th.
Speaking as the chief guest at the first Digital Transformation Summit 2023, he highlighted the upcoming introduction of a digital bank, an online real-time credit rating system, and national debt cards. Hosted by the Association of Bankers Bangladesh Limited (ABB) under the theme “Banking on Digital Transformation,” the two-day summit is being held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.
Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder emphasized the pressing issues of corporate governance and non-performing loans in the banking sector. He stressed the need for cultural changes, ethical practices, and proper education of the workforce to instill good practices within the banking system. The implementation of guidelines, along with strong management and CEO involvement, is expected to address these challenges effectively.
Highlighting the achievements of the Digital Bangladesh vision, the central bank governor stated that steps are being taken towards realizing the Smart Bangladesh vision. Additionally, there is a goal to make 75% of transactions cashless. With these initiatives, the Bangladesh Bank aims to enhance the country’s banking sector and embrace the digital era.
BAFEDA, ABB jointly reduce dollar rates by Tk 0.50
In a joint decision, the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA) and the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) have announced a reduction of Tk 0.50 in both buying and selling rates for the dollar.
The new rates, effective from Thursday, November 23, set the purchasing price for dollars related to export proceeds and remittances at Tk 110, down from Tk 110.50. Simultaneously, the selling rate for dollars concerning import settlements has been adjusted to Tk 110.50, a decrease from the previous Tk 111. This decision, reached during a meeting in the city, comes as a revision to the rates set on October 31, when both organizations had increased the official rates for remittance and export proceeds.
HSBC Bangladesh Hosts “Japan – Bangladesh Business Corridor” Event to Strengthen Ties
HSBC Bangladesh recently hosted a corridor event titled “Japan – Bangladesh Business Corridor: Legacy and the Future” to celebrate and strengthen the longstanding relationship between the two countries. The event brought together Japanese businesses operating in Bangladesh and various stakeholders.
Since Bangladesh’s independence, Japan has played a significant role as a bilateral development partner, contributing to trade, investment, infrastructure development, industrialization support, and social development improvements in the country. HSBC recognizes the importance of Japan’s contributions and untapped potential.
Gerard Haughey, Country Head of Wholesale Banking at HSBC Bangladesh, highlighted the evolving relationship between Japan and Bangladesh, particularly in terms of ongoing trade and investment engagements. He emphasized the opportunities for Japanese investors in Bangladesh’s rapid growth and stated that HSBC is ready to facilitate connections to a world of opportunities.
Hirotaka Shibata, Director of Commercial Banking at HSBC Japan, emphasized HSBC’s presence in Japan and its ability to provide “local” connections and knowledge to Japanese investors on both ends of the investment journey. He noted that HSBC Japan considers Bangladesh a priority corridor and is closely collaborating with HSBC Bangladesh to offer the best available services to clients.
HSBC, as a leading international bank, offers expertise in trade, payment, cash management, and project financing support services in Bangladesh. Its extensive presence in 62 countries makes it the preferred choice for foreign businesses, including Japanese stakeholders operating in Bangladesh. With its digital banking capabilities, HSBC has become the go-to bank for inbound Japanese companies, serving infrastructure and private sector investment clients and stakeholders.
Bangladesh Receives $338m ADB Loan to Boost Local Vaccine Production
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to provide Bangladesh with $338 million in support of domestic vaccine production, aiming to safeguard against a range of diseases. This announcement was made during a meeting between ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting and Planning Minister MA Mannan in Dhaka.
The initiative is part of the Bangladeshi government’s effort to develop a draft project to manufacture vaccines locally, thereby enhancing protection against diseases like COVID-19 and dengue, as well as preparing for potential future health challenges. The ADB’s funding offer consists of a $338 million loan, with half of it carrying a low-interest rate and the remaining portion subject to regular interest.
The ADB is urging the government to expedite the approval of this important project. The Planning Minister assured that diligent efforts would be made to secure swift approval. The ADB Country Director shared that the past fiscal year saw substantial progress in terms of the working environment, disbursement, project implementation, and loan approval in Bangladesh.
The project’s total cost is approximately $351 million. It aims to reduce Bangladesh’s dependence on vaccine imports and bolster domestic production capabilities. The ADB Country Director highlighted that beyond the period of Least Developed Country (LDC) status, Bangladesh may face challenges in procuring vaccines at lower rates and instead may need to purchase them at market prices. To enhance the country’s capacity for vaccine production, this project has been initiated with the aim of swift approval.
Moreover, the ADB has committed $3.5 billion in financing to Bangladesh for the current fiscal year, with approximately $2 billion being concessional and the remaining $1.5 billion being regular funding.
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