What IMF says about the govt-fed media reports on Hasina-Kristalina meeting

The Bangladesh government has fed the country’s media with misleading information about the meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington on April 29. The state owned BSS news agency ran a report titled “Sheikh Hasina’s leadership needed for prosperity: IMF Chief” on April 30.

The same report has been reproduced by almost every major newspaper in Bangladesh, a country where the government manipulates narratives in the media.

However, there was no statement or read-out of the meeting published by the IMF on its website or Twitter handle.

Kristalina Georgieva was quoted in the BSS report as saying, “Bangladesh is a role model in the world . . . it has made unprecedented advancement in various sectors under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina.”

South Asia Perspectives (SAP) has reach out to the IMF spokesperson for a clarification about a news circulated by the Bangladesh Government.

An IMF spokesperson responded to SAP regarding this bilateral meeting by saying that, “The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva held a bilateral meeting with the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 29, 2023, in Washington, DC.

In a written response The IMF spokesperson said, “they discussed developments related to the global economy as well as the Bangladesh program, which is designed to support the authorities’ comprehensive reforms agenda to preserve macroeconomic stability and tackle climate change challenges.”

“The Fund values its close relationship with Bangladesh and the Managing Director reinforced the Fund’s continued support for the country in realizing its aspirations,” the spokesperson added.

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