Vol. 4 Num 293 Wed. March 24, 2004  

Tk 169 cr Kuwaiti loan for three bridges

Kuwait will provide a loan amounting to US $ 28 million (approximately Tk 169 crore) to finance three bridge projects in Bangladesh.

The projects are Third Buriganga Bridge, Second Sitalakhya Bridge and Teesta Bridge.

An agreement was signed between the two countries to this effect yesterday after the arrival of a delegation from Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.

KFAED Deputy Director General Abdul Wahab Al-Bader, leader of the Kuwait Fund delegation, and Economic Relations Division Secretary Mirza Tasadduq Hussain Beg signed the agreement.

Ambassador of Kuwait Abdullah Masoud Abdullah was present at the signing ceremony.

The bridges are expected to bring about socio-economic prosperity of the people, said a press release.

It said the bridges would help ease the traffic pressure on the capital and facilitate movement and transportation of people and goods to and from the city greatly, reducing the time and distance.

Besides promoting and facilitating internal trade and commerce, the projects would also promote external trade with the neighbouring countries of India, Nepal and Bhutan, contributing to the economic growth of Bangladesh, the release added.

The delegation also discussed possible funding for a number of other feasible projects in health, power generation and transmission, as well as setting up of technical institutes, research centre, bridge and rail communication.

The Kuwait Fund has so far provided US $ 336.36 million to Bangladesh to finance 17 projects. With the signing of the new loan agreement, the total number of projects will stand at 20.

The Kuwait Fund has been contributing to three major sectors -- power development and rural electrification, road communication and transport, and agriculture.

Besides, it financed the feasibility study of six other bridges across the country and flyover in Dhaka amounting to US $ 1.04 million.