In a major breakthrough towards amicable relations, Korea and Bangladesh on Thursday signed a new Framework Arrangement concerning US $3 billion of concessional loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for the year 2023 through 2027 in Incheon, Korea.
Diplomatic circles in Dhaka said the government of the Republic of Korea has made a bold decision to increase assistance considerably in view of amicable relations with Bangladesh and of the bright future of the country.
The signing ceremony took place on the occasion of 56th Annual General Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Development Bank (ADB) held in Korea.
Kisun Bang, First Vice Minister for Economy and Finance, and Sharifa Khan, Secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD), signed the arrangement on behalf of their respective governments, reads a press statement of the Korean Embassy in Dhaka.
On this occasion, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the cooperation for Dhaka MRT Line 4 and EDCF Loan Agreement (L/A) for two projects, procurement of CNG buses and modernization of railway signalling system, have also been signed by concerned representatives from the Korean and bangladesh sides.
The signed arrangement will serve as a legal foundation for Korean government’s provision of up to 3 billion US dollars in concessional loans to the Government of Bangladesh for the next five years.
According to the Arrangement, the repayment period of the EDCF loans will be 40 years, including 15 year grace period, with the annual interest rate between 0.01%~0.05%.
As per the arrangement, candidate projects will be identified in the future in close consultation between the two governments.
With the signing of the new framework arrangement, Bangladesh has become the second largest recipient of Korea’s Official Development Aid (ODA) across the globe.
The amount authorized by the newly signed arrangement has more than quadrupled compared to that of previous EDCF Framework Arrangement which stipulated provision of up to 700 million US dollars for the year 2021 through 2025.
So far, Korean government has supported 30 development projects with aggregate amount of 1.7 billion US dollars through the EDCF.
The Government of the Republic of Korea has made a bold decision to increase assistance considerably in view of amicable relations with Bangladesh and of bright future of Bangladesh.
Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-kuen said “It is particularly meaningful to sign a new EDCF Framework Arrangement in the year of 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“With the substantial increase of the concessional loan to Bangladesh, it is expected that Korea will be able to support mega projects in Bangladesh, thus contributing to continuous socio-economic development of Bangladesh.”
Ambassador Lee hoped that this 3 billion US dollars support serves as a catalyst for improving daily lives of Bangladesh people, such as in the areas of transportation, health and education, and for enhancing friendship between the people of Bangladesh and Korea.”