Connect with us

Economy

Bangladesh, Germany Seal 191mn Euro Deal for Development Cooperation

Published

on

Bangladesh and Germany Seal 191 Million Euro Deal for Development Cooperation

Germany has pledged 191 million euros to Bangladesh, signaling its commitment to support the country’s sustainable development. The two nations recently inked bilateral agreements on Development Cooperation, following up on commitments made during government negotiations in December 2022. These agreements encompass a total volume of 191 million euros, equivalent to approximately 2,215 crore Bangladeshi Taka, with 55 million euros allocated for Technical Cooperation (TC) and 136 million euros for Financial Cooperation (FC), as detailed in a press release.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Dhaka, saw Sharifa Khan, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division, and Jan Janowski, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh, sign the agreements on behalf of their respective governments. The event was attended by high-ranking officials from the Government of Bangladesh, the German Embassy in Dhaka, and key representatives from the main implementing agencies within German Development Cooperation, namely GIZ for technical cooperation and KfW for financial cooperation.

The projects outlined in these agreements focus on critical areas such as Green and Just Energy Transition, Sustainable Urban Development, Sustainable Supply Chains, Biodiversity and Women Empowerment, as well as support for Host and Displaced Communities in Cox’s Bazar.

Under the Technical Cooperation agreement, the projects encompass various initiatives, including energy efficiency promotion, vocational training, climate-smart urban development, and support for climate adaptation targets, among others.

Meanwhile, the Financial Cooperation agreement includes substantial funding for Climate Change Adapted Urban Development Programs, contributing to the sustainable growth of urban areas in Bangladesh.

Germany has a longstanding history of providing both financial and technical assistance to Bangladesh, dating back to 1972, with a cumulative contribution exceeding 3 billion euros. Their cooperation has played a pivotal role in areas like climate change adaptation, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, good governance, human rights, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and assistance to Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar district.

These newly signed agreements signify the continuation of successful bilateral cooperation, aimed at advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning with the Climate Goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Germany operates its technical and financial cooperation activities in Bangladesh through three institutions: GIZ, KfW Development Bank, and BGR, all of which are overseen by the Embassy of Germany in Bangladesh.

Currently, the German government is financing 23 projects in Bangladesh, totaling 452.5 million euros in loans and 161.054 million euros in grants. Additionally, a separate technical cooperation project, “Strengthening Access to Justice and Legal Reforms (SAJLeR),” was signed between Bangladesh and Germany. This initiative, with a fund of 12.422 million euros, aims to enhance access to justice services for the marginalized, particularly the poor, women, and children, by introducing new reform approaches in the justice sector.

Share this

Economy

Modi Likely to Visit Bangladesh in First Bilateral Trip Post-Re-Election

Published

on

sheikh hasin amodi india bangladesh

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Bangladesh later this month, marking his first bilateral trip following his re-election.

Initially, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was slated to visit India at the end of June or early July. However, following her attendance at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi over the weekend, plans have shifted. According to the Economic Times, Modi is now preparing for a visit to Dhaka in response to an invitation extended by Hasina.

This prospective visit aligns with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, aimed at reinforcing its leadership role in South Asia.

During their meeting in New Delhi on June 9, Hasina formally invited Modi to visit Bangladesh. Although exact dates for the visit are yet to be finalized, the agenda will likely focus on enhancing cross-border connectivity, energy cooperation, and business ties between the two nations.

Sources indicate that India is keen on strengthening its security and defense partnership with Bangladesh, reflecting the strategic importance of this bilateral relationship.

Share this
Continue Reading

Economy

Moody’s Predicts Further Decline for Bangladesh’s Taka Amid Currency Policy Shift

Published

on

moody taka

Bangladesh’s taka is expected to plunge further into record-low territory as the central bank loosens its control over the currency, according to Moody’s Ratings.

Young Kim, an analyst at the rating firm in Singapore, projects that the taka will likely weaken by another 2% to around 120 per dollar by the year’s end. This forecast comes as the currency has been hitting a series of record lows in recent days.

The central bank’s recent introduction of a crawling peg system is anticipated to align the taka’s value more closely with its rate in the unofficial market, Kim explained. This adjustment is part of a broader package of policies recommended by the International Monetary Fund, which provided Bangladesh with a $4.7 billion bailout program last year. This policy shift aims to help the nation prevent further depletion of its foreign exchange reserves—a factor Fitch Ratings cited when it downgraded Bangladesh’s credit score further into junk status in May.

“Most of the pressure for Bangladesh is external, centered around the fixed-exchange rate that caused a distortion between the market and the official rate,” Kim noted. “This significant devaluation of the taka helps reduce some of these imbalances by narrowing that gap.”

In May, the central bank implemented the crawling peg exchange rate system and set the mid-rate at 117 taka per dollar. This move prompted an almost 8% decline in the currency this quarter. On Tuesday, the taka weakened further by 0.3%, reaching 117.7 against the dollar and closing at a new low.

Amidst the currency devaluation, Bangladesh is also cutting spending and raising taxes to narrow the budget deficit and boost revenues, as the country faces a steady erosion of foreign reserves. To curb inflationary pressure, the central bank has transitioned to market-based interest rates, responding to the fastest pace of price increases seen in seven months in May.

Share this
Continue Reading

Economy

Bangladesh, ADB Ink $250M Loan Deal for Social Resilience Program

Published

on

ADB BAngladesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh have signed a $250 million loan agreement to bolster Bangladesh’s social protection system.

Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Edimon Ginting, ADB’s Country Director, signed the agreement today at a ceremony held at the ERD in the capital.

“The Second Strengthening Social Resilience Program aims to accelerate reforms by increasing the coverage and efficiency of protection, improving financial inclusion for disadvantaged people, and strengthening the response to diversified protection needs,” stated Country Director Edimon Ginting.

Building on the first Strengthening Social Resilience Program completed in June 2022, this second initiative seeks to improve the policy, regulatory, and institutional framework for social protection in Bangladesh. This program aligns with the government’s Action Plan Phase II of the National Social Security Strategy (2021-2026), aiming to enhance the social protection system’s protective and preventive capabilities.

According to a press release, the program will improve efficiency in social protection program management, increase protection for the most vulnerable populations, and expand the scope of social protection by introducing contributory schemes. These measures aim to reduce vulnerability, social exclusion, and the risk of further poverty.

The program will introduce a beneficiary verification scheme for cash-based social protection programs to minimize leakages. It will also merge two cash-based protection programs for people with disabilities to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

To address climate vulnerability, the program will integrate climate adaptive measures into social protection, including identifying individuals most at risk from climate change-induced disasters to ensure appropriate assistance.

ADB’s support will enhance protection for vulnerable women and transgender people by increasing the number of beneficiaries under the widow allowance program and extending the livelihood support program for transgender individuals.

Additionally, Bangladesh Bank will double its funding for the Small Enterprise Refinancing Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs to improve access to financial services for women small business operators.

Another key objective of the program is to strengthen the governance mechanism of the employment injury scheme pilot, particularly in the ready-made garments sector. It also supports establishing a tripartite committee comprising workers’ associations, employers’ associations, and the government to advance social protection for workers under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, a crucial step in developing the country’s social insurance schemes.

To support the implementation, technical and policy analyses, and capacity building of relevant government agencies, ADB will provide a $1 million grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF 7) and another $1 million grant from the ADB-administered Community Resilience Partnership Program Trust Fund under the Community Resilience Financing Partnership Facility.

Share this
Continue Reading