– The Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Suleiman J Al-Herbish, has concluded a mission to Bangladesh, the first high-level visit to South Asian country, and in addition to meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Al-Herbish signed two loan agreements to help bolster the country’s transportation sector.
Al-Herbish also delivered an address to the Bangladesh Development Forum and met with government ministers and other high-level officials to discuss ongoing and future projects.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Hasina, Al-Herbish spoke of OFID’s longstanding support for Bangladesh’s socio-economic development; a commitment that spans more than four decades. The lion’s share of OFID’s public sector approvals to the country, he explained, totaled over US$600 million and supported priority projects in the transportation and energy sectors, as well as projects with a multi-sectoral focus. The approvals are in line with OFID’s energy-water-food nexus approach to development, which considers transportation as a vital enabling sector.
Al-Herbish outlined OFID’s pioneering Energy for the Poor initiative and the role the organisation played in drawing attention to the importance of energy access, helping to secure a standalone Sustainable Development Goal relating to affordable and clean energy in the 2030 Global Development Agenda. He assured the Prime Minister of OFID’s ongoing commitment to Bangladesh and spoke of various pipeline projects.
Earlier, Al-Herbish, Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal A Muhith and the Secretary of Economic Relations Division Shofiqul Azam signed two US$30 million loan agreements for the Paira Bridge and SASEC Road Connectivity Projects.
OFID is an international development finance institution established by the member states of OPEC in 1976 as an international bank account. In 1980, Member States decided to turn the temporary fund into a permanent legal entity. The UAE became a member of the fund by virtue of Federal Decree No. 56 of 1976.
WAM/MOHD AAMIR/Esraa Ismail