Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday rejected the idea of setting up a regional hub of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for South Asian countries in New Delhi.
“I’m not in favour of the regional hub because the country and the sub-regional offices of ADB are doing well except in the pacific,” he told reporters after a meeting with ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
The meeting was held on the last day of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB held at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Centre.
Muhith said the ADB President has assured him that if there is any hub the dealing will be from its headquarters.
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jeitley on Saturday strongly called for setting up an ADB regional hub in New Delhi for South Asia region so that proposals could speedily be processed.
He also said such hubs could be set up in other regions as well.
Asked to compare the development assistance that Bangladesh receives from donor agencies and countries, Muhith said Japan is still the largest bilateral development partner of Bangladesh, and they are most likely to come up with $1.3 billion assistance this year.
Apart form the multilateral development agencies, China and India have recently come with so much of assistance commitment, he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Bangladesh last year, committed to providing around $23 billion for an uncertain period of time, while India has come up the 3rd Line of Credit against various projects in Bangladesh in addition to the previous two LoCs.
Replying to another question, the Finance Minister said Bangladesh has no concern with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as the bank has been following the footsteps of their predecessors.
He told another questioner that Bangladesh has already expressed its interest to joint the BRICS Bank.
Asked about the stolen money from Bangladesh Bank to Manila, Muhith said the government and the Reserve Bank of the Philippines have not yet changed their position. “I mean any money, which source is theft, then it’s not acceptable to any country and that’s the position of our government.”
He said if the Reserve Bank pursues any other policy, then it cannot win the banking business. “If a bank thinks it’ll depend on the stolen money then it’ll be stolen out of the banking system….it’s entirely a matter of Trust.”
Part of the $ 81 million, stolen from Bangladesh Bank’s Federal Reserve account in New York and transferred to bank accounts in the Philippines, was recovered in December last year.