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DHAKA: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) on Wednesday signed a $2.1 billion financing plan with Bangladesh to fund the country’s oil and gas imports, energy officials said.

Bangladesh has struggled to pay for imported fuel and gas because of dwindling local reserves since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, forcing the country to turn last year to the International Monetary Fund for a $4.7 billion bailout.

“ITFC has been cooperating with us in oil imports for a long time. Now $500 million can be used to import gas, which will help solve the gas crisis,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told reporters after the deal was signed in Dhaka.

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Under the agreement, the Jeddah-based ITFC will finance the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation to import oil and Petrobangla to import liquefied natural gas.

Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves fell below $20 billion at the end of January, central bank data showed, which can cover only four months of imports while six months of import bills are considered adequate.

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