The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $100 million loan to Bangladesh to improve the skill level of its workforce for creating more jobs at home and abroad.
A loan deal was signed between the Bangladesh government and the ADB at a function at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in Dhaka on Tuesday.
ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB Country-Director Kazuhiko Higuchi signed the agreement.
The assistance is the second tranche of the $350 million multitranche financing facility (MFF) approved by the ADB in 2014 for the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP).
The remaining amount from the ADB assistance is expected to be utilised before the MFF period ends in 2024.
The SEIP is being implemented by the finance division at a cost of $1.07 billion. It seeks to provide local workforce with technical, vocational, and midlevel managerial job-related training to create more employment and increase remittance inflow.
“The programme underpins the country’s path towards higher income level with diversified and expanded economic base, while providing good jobs to people, especially women,” Kazuhiko Higuchi told the signing ceremony.
“The programme has already delivered significant benefits.The ADB will continue supporting this strategically important programme of the government in the coming years,” he added.
The second tranche of the SEIP will support expansion of the training programme to nine priority industries, bringing in three 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.
Upskilling training for Bangladeshi workers abroad, especially for managerial skills, is an important goal under the expanded programme. Over 240,000 people, 30 percent of them women, will be trained up by 2021.
The SEIP Tranche 2 programme is estimated to cost a total of $133 million. In addition to the $100million ADB assistance, the programme is complemented by $25 million from the government-of-Bangladesh (GoB) funds, $4.5 million from the Swiss government, 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 percent per annum.
The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.