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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Fiscal performance has been broadly in line with program targets. As a result, the current account deficit has narrowed, reserves have increased significantly, and headline inflation is under control. However, implementation of structural benchmarks has lagged, necessitating sharper focus and greater ownership by the authorities. The global economic slowdown coupled with election-year uncertainty in Bangladesh poses the most immediate challenge to policymakers. The balance of risks is to the downside in the near term, potentially putting pressure on growth and inflation and undermining financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Executive Directors commend Bangladesh in addressing the major challenges to growth and poverty reduction. The strategy is comprehensive and confronts the key issues impeding sustainable development and inclusive growth in Bangladesh. Implementing sound macro-financial policies, intensifying revenue mobilization, improving the business environment, ensuring trade liberalization, and improving governance and accountability are top priorities. Actions should be sequenced according to these priorities. Severe external shocks could reignite macroeconomic pressures and undermine socioeconomic targets.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Bangladesh’s second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper -- “Steps Towards Change: National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction II (NSAPR II)” – provides a framework for implementing the government’s agenda during FY09-FY11. First prepared by a Caretaker government,1 the NSAPR II was later revised by the current elected government to reflect its priorities. The NSAPR II outlines five strategic priorities and describes the supporting strategies to achieve them. This Joint Staff Advisory Note (JSAN) provides feedback on priority areas for strengthening the NSAPR II and its implementation.

International Monetary Fund