IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the First Review under the Extended Credit Facility, Extended Fund Facility, Resilience and Sustainability Facility, and Concludes the 2023 Article IV Consultation with Bangladesh

October 19, 2023

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.

  • The IMF staff and the Bangladesh authorities have reached staff-level agreement on the policies needed to complete the first review of the Fund-supported program. IMF staff welcomes the progress of reform implementation and the authorities’ continued commitment to undertake decisive policy actions, amid a challenging environment.
  • Further monetary tightening, supported by neutral fiscal policy, and greater exchange rate flexibility, is needed to restore near-term macroeconomic stability. The IMF program will continue to support the authorities’ efforts to preserve macroeconomic stability and protect the vulnerable, while accelerating economic reforms and delivering on the climate agenda.
  • Article IV policy consultation focused on reforms to create additional fiscal space for social and developmental spending; modernize policy frameworks; enhance governance; and strengthen climate resilience.

Dhaka, Bangladesh – October 19, 2023: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission team led by Mr. Rahul Anand visited Dhaka during October 4–19, 2023 to discuss economic and financial policies in the context of the first review of the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF), Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) and the 2023 Article IV consultation.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Anand issued the following statement:

“The Bangladesh authorities and IMF staff conducted discussions for the 2023 Article IV consultation and reached staff-level agreement on the policies needed to complete the first review under the ECF/EFF/RSF arrangements. The staff-level agreement is subject to IMF Management approval and Executive Board endorsement, which is expected in the coming weeks. Completion of the first review will make available about US$ 462 million (SDR352.35 million equivalent of 33 percent of quota) under the ECF/EFF and about US$ 219 million (SDR166.67 million equivalent of 15.8 percent of quota) under the RSF.

“The authorities have made substantial progress on structural reforms under the IMF-supported program, but challenges remain. Continued global financial tightening, coupled with existing vulnerabilities, is making macroeconomic management challenging, putting pressures on the Taka and FX reserves.

“Near-term policy priorities should focus on containing inflation, softening the impact of these economic disruptions on the vulnerable, and building external resilience. We welcome Bangladesh Bank’s decision to raise the policy rate by 75 basis points (bps) on October 4, 2023. Further calibrated monetary policy tightening, greater exchange rate flexibility, and tight fiscal policy will help restore macroeconomic stability.

“Growth is projected to stay at 6 percent in FY24, while inflation is projected to moderate to 7¼ percent by end-FY24. FX reserves are expected to increase gradually in the near term and are projected to reach about four months of prospective imports in the medium term. However, uncertainties around the outlook remain high and risks are tilted to the downside.

“Raising revenue is critical to create additional space for social spending and investment. Concerted tax policy and administration measures are needed to raise Bangladesh’s low tax-to-GDP ratio in a sustainable manner. Rationalizing subsidies, improving expenditure efficiency, and managing fiscal risks will allow for additional spending on social safety nets and growth-enhancing investment.

“Modernizing monetary and exchange rate policy frameworks and improving FX management remain important to bolster external resilience. The introduction of the interest rate corridor system and the adoption of a unified single exchange rate are welcome steps. Building on these, Bangladesh Bank should continue to fully operationalize the interest rate targeting framework and gradually move to a flexible exchange rate regime.

“Addressing banking sector vulnerabilities remains important to meet Bangladesh’s growing financing needs. Reducing non-performing loans of state-owned commercial banks, enhancing supervision, strengthening governance, and improving regulatory frameworks would increase financial sector efficiency. Developing domestic capital markets will help mobilize financing to support growth objectives.

“Discussions also focused on the structural reform agenda to support the authorities’ ambition to reach an upper middle-income status by 2031. Expanding trade, attracting more FDI, enhancing the investment climate, and raising women’s economic participation are crucial to boost growth potential.

“Given Bangladesh’s high vulnerability to climate change, it is important to scale up resilient infrastructure investment, through climate-responsive public investment management and green public financial management reforms. Better management of climate-related risks will help enhance financial sector resilience and mobilize private climate finance.

“The IMF team is grateful to the Bangladesh authorities and other stakeholders for their hospitality and candid discussions. The team held meetings with Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, and other senior government and Bangladesh Bank officials. The team also met with representatives from the private sector, think tanks, bilateral donors, and development partners.”

IMF Communications Department


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