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EDCF Establishes an Eco-friendly·Advanced Transportation System in Bangladesh

Date 2023.05.04

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□ The Export-Import Bank of Korea (, Chairman Yoon Hee-sung, “Korea Eximbank“) announced that it will provide a total of US$ 138.44 million in EDCF loans for Bangladesh’s “Eco-friendly CNG Bus Procurement Project“ and “Modernization of Railway Signaling System Project.“
 * The Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) : Korea Eximbank has been entrusted by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance to operate and manage the fund for developing countries since 1987. It provides long-term low-interest loans to support industrial development and economic stability in developing countries, and promotes economic exchanges between developing countries and Korea.

□ Korea Eximbank Chairman Yoon Hee-sung met Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh, Shahriar Kader Siddiky and signed the loan agreement on May 4 at Songdo Convensia in Incheon, Korea.

○ The signing ceremony was attended by Vice Minister for Strategy and Finance Bang Ki-sun and the Bangladeshi delegation who visited Incheon on the occasion of the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting held in the city.

□  Under the loan agreement, EDCF will provide US$ 77.4 million for the “Eco-friendly CNG Bus* Procurement Project,“ which is the first priority project in Bangladesh’s national transportation development plans.

  * Eco-friendly CNG bus: It is a type of public transportation vehicle that operates on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as its fuel source to minimize environmental contamination. 

 ○ This project involves the procurement of 340 eco-friendly CNG bus units, spare parts, and maintenance equipment, along with education and training for bus operations and repairs in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
 ○ Considering the current situation in Dhaka, which is suffering from severe air pollution and traffic congestion issues, EDCF’s support for the project is expected to improve air quality by  reducing carbon emissions and meet the public transportation demand in the city at the same time.

□ Also, EDCF will extend US$ 61 million for the “Modernization of Railway Signaling System Project“ covering 20 railway stations in northwestern Bangladesh.

 ○ Since the railway signaling system in the target section of the project is aged with more than 60 years since the initial installation, there have been concerns regarding train delays,  frequent malfunctions, and potential safety-related accidents. 
 ○  Upon completion of the project, it is anticipated that the efficiency and safety of railway operations will significantly improve in the respective section.

□ After signing the loan agreement, Korea Eximbank Chairman Yoon Hee-sung remarked, “Through active support for EDCF projects that align with Bangladesh’s transportation development plans, we have laid the foundation for Korea companies to expand their presence in the transportation sector in Bangladesh.“  
 ○ He went on to say, “The Korea-Bangladesh EDCF Framework Agreement has been renewed from US$ 0.7 billion to US$ 3 billion and the MOU for Korea Eximbank’s EDPF(Economic Development Promotion Facility) amounting to US$ 3 billion to be extended over the next five years has been signed with the Bangladeshi side. This leads us to expect that Korean companies will be able to actively participate in large-scale infrastructural projects in Bangladesh.“

□ Bangladesh is the 8th populous country in the world, with a population of approximately 170 million, and it ranks 33rd in terms of GDP globally. Moreover, Bangladesh has been experiencing rapid growth, with an average annual economic growth rate of 7% since 2016.