“Role of IFC as a development Partner in Bangladesh”


The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held its monthly

Luncheon meeting today at the SHERATON (Banani), Dhaka.

Mr. Martin Holtmann, Country Manager – Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal, International Finance Corporation (IFC), attended the event as the Guest of Honor & Speaker and spoke on “Role of IFC as a development Partner in Bangladesh”. President – AmCham, Mr. Syed Ershad Ahmed, Mr. Syed Mohammad Kamal, Vice President, AmCham, members of the Chamber including the Executive Committee Members, Mr. Md. Shahadat Hossen, Executive Director, AmCham, and former Presidents, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, media representatives and other distinguished guests attended the meeting.

Bangladesh has taken various financial reform initiatives, which are going into the right direction, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Country Manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan Martin Holtmann said. The initiatives are fundamental and they are very important to reform Bangladesh’s financial sector, Holtmann said.

He said Bangladesh’s tax GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world, which is only 7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). However, he lauded the rise of Bangladesh’s private sector and its participation in infrastructure development. Many of the private sector entrepreneurs have already invested in the power generation sector, which is praiseworthy, he opined.

The IFC high-up also said the forex rate is also going into the right direction thanks to the recent steps taken by the government to bring normalcy in the volatile forex market amidst the Russia Ukraine war.
In November 2019, the IFC – the private sector arm of the World Bank – launched the Bangla Bond, the country’s first-ever Taka-denominated bond for Pran-RFL company at the London Stock Exchange.
The IFC country manager appreciated Bangladesh’s financial sector reforms and acknowledged that despite some reforms taking time, the country is moving in the right direction. He stressed on further financial sector reforms and praised the private sector’s active participation in infrastructure development.
Lauding the country’s economic growth even amid turbulent economic times such as the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, he referred to the need to improve the tax-GDP ratio, which in Bangladesh is one of the lowest in the world.

AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed highlighted the significance of Bangladesh’s private sector in driving economic growth, creating employment opportunities, attracting investments and fostering innovation. He said the IFC, as a member of the World Bank Group, focuses on promoting sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction through investments in the private sector. It plays a crucial role in supporting the development of countries on the path to progress. In his speech, the AmCham president also called for improving the tax-GDP ratio.

Bangladesh’s steady annual GDP growth rate, strategic geopolitical location and skilled workforce make it an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), positioning it on the path to becoming a developing nation.

Keynote Presentation

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