The Press release issued by the World Bank on Friday quoted the Country Director for Bhutan and Bangladesh Mercy Tembon that these projects will help the economy in bouncing back by creating more and better jobs and promoting direct private investment in specialized economic zones.
The first project worth dollar 500 million called Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) project will strengthen social and environmental standards in selected economic zones and software technology parks in Bangladesh. It will create over 1.5 lakh jobs of which a percentage will be reserved for women. The project will also establish Dhaka’s first digital entrepreneurship hub in the Janata Software Technology Park. It will help Bangladesh to attract dollar 2 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The dollar 295 million Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) Project will establish an integrated, cloud-computing digital platform for all government agencies and improve cyber-security. It will enable the government to operate virtually and deliver critical public services to citizens and businesses in times of future crisis. This is likely to create 1 lakh jobs, train 1 lakh youth in digital technologies and establish a digital leadership academy. The project will also help the small and medium enterprises and strategic industries to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.
The dollar 250 million Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit will create fiscal space to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The World Bank said that this is the second of the programme based series of three projects for Bangladesh intended to modernize the trade and investment regime, build a stronger system of expanded safety nets and labor protections and help vulnerable populations access better jobs, especially during crises.
Bangladesh currently has one of the largest IDA programs totaling over dollar 13 billion. THe World Bank has committed more than dollar 31 billion in grants, interest-free, and concessional credits to Bangladesh since its independence in 1971.