DHAKA, Feb. 15 (NsNewsWire) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh have signed an agreement for a $100 million loan for up-skilling young workforce, especially women, to enhance job opportunities, expand economic base, and boost income.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Kazuhiko Higuchi, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission, signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, at a ceremony in Dhaka.
“The program underpins the country’s path toward higher income level with diversified and expanded economic base, while providing good jobs to people, especially women,” said Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi. “The program has already delivered significant benefits. ADB will continue supporting this strategically important program of the government in the coming years.”
The second tranche of the SEIP will support expansion of the training program to 9 priority industries, bringing in 3 additional industry associations (Bangladesh Agro-processors’ Association, Industry Skills Council for Hospitality and Tourism, and Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and 15 training providers. Up-skilling training for Bangladeshi migrant workers overseas, especially for managerial skills, is an important goal under the expanded program. Over 240,000 people, 30% women, will be trained by 2021.
The SEIP Tranche 2 program is estimated to cost a total of $133 million. In addition to the $100 million ADB assistance, the program is complemented by $25 million from the Government of Bangladesh, $4.5 million from the Government of Switzerland, and $3.5 million from the private sector. The second tranche of the ADB loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, and an interest rate of 2% per annum.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.