Statement at the Conclusion of a Staff Visit to Bangladesh

Press Release No. 10/330
September 7, 2010

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission from Washington, D.C. visited Dhaka September 5-7, 2010 to discuss possible interest of the Government of Bangladesh in a Fund-supported program to assist the Government in achieving its growth and poverty reduction objectives. The mission, headed by Mr. Anoop Singh, Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, and accompanied by Mr. David Cowen, IMF mission chief for Bangladesh and Ms. Eteri Kvintradze, IMF Resident Representative in Bangladesh, met with the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Minister of Finance Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister Mashiur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman, and other senior officials.

During the visit, discussions focused on reform priorities needed to put Bangladesh on a higher growth path and accelerate poverty reduction. Despite the challenging global environment in recent years, Bangladesh has achieved solid growth performance and maintained macroeconomic stability. Nonetheless, the Government still faces an overriding need to generate sufficient resources to increase development spending, in order to alleviate major infrastructure bottlenecks, foster greater regional economic integration, bring effective climate change mitigation, and engender widespread job creation. In this context, prospective budget and external financing needs could be large over the medium term.

Based on these discussions, IMF staff intend to work closely with the Government in the coming months on a reform program, in consultation with key development partners, which could be supported by Fund’s new low-income country lending facilities. This program would aim to embrace key elements of the authorities’ reform agenda on tax policy and administration, public financial management, the financial sector, and trade policy, creating the conditions for broad-based growth, including by catalyzing greater private investment and maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment.



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