Finance Minister ASM Mustafa Kamal has sought financial assistance from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is not possible for a country to face the crisis alone. We are now worried that coronavirus might have a multifaceted impact on our economy. Under this situation, we need greater support," Kamal said.
The minister made the comment during a videoconference with the World Bank and IMF headquarters on the coronavirus situation from the National Economic Council conference room in the city's Sher-e-Banglanagar area on Wednesday.
Highlighting the coronavirus situation in Bangladesh, Kamal said the country's readymade garment sector is being affected by the shutdown in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.
He also said, "Our infrastructure sector projects are being delayed under the impact of this virus. The virus is also having a negative impact on remittance inflow as many expatriate workers have already returned home in the wake of this outbreak."
The finance minister said coronavirus spreads fast. To stem its outbreak, countries across the world are enforcing lockdowns, shutdowns and disruption of the communication system which has begun to have a negative impact on the global economy.
Share markets across the world have already witnessed a fall of around 28-34 percent. If this crisis continues for long, global economic growth can come down to 1.5 percent.
The country had attained 8.15 percent growth in the last fiscal year, which was the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, and it was poised to achieve 8.20 percent growth in the current fiscal year, he said.
Unfortunately, Bangladesh may lose 1.1 percent of GDP growth due to the outbreak of coronavirus, citing an analysis of the Asian Development Bank, he added.
The finance minister also said when Bangladesh is set to become a higher mid-income country and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the country along with the entire world is feeling the negative impact of this virus.
The World Bank has already set up a $14 billion global fund while the IMF has a $50 billion fund to fight coronavirus. Bangladesh is expecting a big chunk of the funds to face the economic crisis in coming days due to this virus.
The chairman of the National Board of Revenue, Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, Financial Institution Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam, Finance Division Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder and Economic Relations Department Secretary Fatima Yasmin, were present on the occasion.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir joined the press conference by videoconference from his office.