Bangladesh will do well to utilise the International Finance Corporation’s pledge to invest $2.5 billion dollars in the country.
As the money will be provided over the course of the next three years, there is an opportunity here for long-term thinking -- that is what Bangladesh needs right now.
The most significant aspect of the contribution is that its primary purpose is to encourage players in other sectors of the economy. With RMG being the largest contributor to the Bangladeshi economy, the loan may be crucial in developing infrastructure, and spurring the growth of alternative sectors
The aim here is to focus not only on manufacturing, but also on infrastructure, power, logistics, and the financial sectors. This will allow for the kind of holistic approach that Bangladesh desperately needs.
It is crucial that the money is used in the right places and does not wind up in pockets of unscrupulous players. Furthermore, these funds should not go to waste on bad projects, or ones that are endlessly stalled.
It is important, though, that the World Bank’s lending arm respect Bangladesh’s autonomy in how to best use this investment. It is never a good sign when an outside party dictates the terms.
With this understanding, the IFC can be a great ally to Bangladesh in the coming years.
The World Bank recently said Bangladesh could very well become the next economic powerhouse of Asia. This is no pipe dream, but there is still some way to go.
We must seize this opportunity, and we must get to work.