Bangladesh signs $130 mn World Bank loan for economic zones

Dhaka: The Bangladeshi government has signed a $130 million additional financing agreement with the World Bank to scale up support for the recently licensed and new economic zones to attract foreign and domestic investment as well as to create more jobs in the manufacturing sector. The additional financing to the Private Sector Development Support Project (PSDSP) will help develop new Economic Zones through identifying, licensing, and negotiating Public-Private Partnership for economic zone development, Xinhua news agency quoted the Washington-based lender as saying in a statement on Sunday. In the last two years, it said PSDSP helped with the licensing of 16 Economic Zones and Hi-Tech Parks, and with the assessment of 33 new sites for development as Economic Zones over the next several years. "Bangladesh needs to create more and better jobs in the manufacturing sector to accelerate growth and poverty reduction. The economic zones play a critical role in attracting private investment and creating jobs, as the benefits are many. For example, the new zones have reduced the time to register a business by 82 per cent." said Rajashree Paralkar, acting World Bank country director for Bangladesh.