NDB membership to craft new source of funding
Becoming a member of the New Development Bank (NDB) will craft new funding opportunities for Bangladesh. But the nature of the benefit we will get depends on what kind of funding they will provide.
The new bank will appear in the market as a new lender different from existing multilateral financers such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) or Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and bilateral development partners such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) or China.
It will also bring new opportunities for us in getting foreign funding to various infrastructural and development projects.
The World Bank lends through the government from its International Development Association (IDA) window. The global lender also provides loans to the private sector from its International Finance Corporation (IFC) window. But it is still unclear whether the NDB will lend to the private sector.
We still do not know whether a country like ours will qualify for any special facility from the NDB, or whether the loan will be commercial or special assistance.
Again, will the NDB lend through the government or involve the private sector? The details will clarify Bangladesh's prospects.
But being a member is positive for us. If you are not a member, you do not qualify for anything.
We still do not know if we would be able to hold the ownership of the bank by purchasing its shares. If ownership shares are available, our success will also depend on how profitable the bank would be.
Dr Zahid Hussain is the former Lead Economist at World Bank. He spoke to Saifuddin Saif over the phone.