Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) is likely to increase the annual assistance package to Bangladesh by 33.33 percent to US$800 million annually for 2009-11 period, President Haruhiko Kuroda announced in Dhaka Thursday.

The country had a package of annual $600 million in 2006-08 period from the Manila-based multilateral lending agency.

Bangladesh will be received more assistance to overcome the effects of the economic crisis and push ahead with development programs, Mr. Kuroda at a press briefing in the capital following his meetings with the prime minister and finance minister.

The ADB plans to tap on its countercyclical support fund to provide the increase in aid for Bangladesh, he said, adding that the ADB recently set up a $3 billion countercyclical support facility to help its developing member countries cope with the global economic crisis and sustain longer-term growth.

Infrastructure is essential for faster and more inclusive economic growth and ADB is encouraged by the new government’s commitment to continue with critical reforms, particularly its commitment to scale up infrastructure investment, said Mr. Kuroda who is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has received $9.86 billion in loans and $183 million in technical assistance from ADB over the years.

BBN/SS/SSR/AD-24July09-3:46 am (BST)