Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After 50 years, Asian Development Bank looks ahead

After 50 years, Asian Development Bank looks ahead

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Takehiko Nakao, president of ADB, speaks during the organisation’s annual meeting held in Yokohama, Japan. Photo supplied

After 50 years, Asian Development Bank looks ahead

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) set out its strategy for the next decade during the launch of its 50th annual meeting in Japan over the weekend, while also recognising the challenges that remain for the 300 million people still living in poverty in Asia.

Addressing the 6,000 officials, academics, business leaders and civil society representatives attending the meeting, ADB President Takehiko Nakao praised the bank’s performance over the past 50 years, during which it combined knowledge and finance while fostering regional cooperation.

He also mapped out the future direction of the institution, which will be led by its Strategy 2030 and includes addressing issues of climate change, urbanisation, ageing demographics and widening inequalities.

“The ADB continues to hold consultations on the strategy with a wide range of stakeholders from around the region and in donor countries,” Nakao said.

He added that co-financing and technical assistance funding had reached a total of $31.7 billion over the past 50 years in 2016, while loans and grants increased by 9 percent last year to reach a total of $17.5 billion. Climate finance increased by close to $1 billion, increasing to $3.7 billion at the end of last year, and public private partnership co-financing grew to $13.9 billion.

Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito spoke at the ADB annual meeting opening session, saying that 50 years ago, when the ADB held its first annual meeting, the Asia Pacific region was one of the poorest in the world. He noted that over the past half century countries in the region have made significant progress in terms of economic development and poverty reduction.

“There are, however, still over 300 million people living in poverty in this region, and poverty reduction through sustainable and inclusive growth remains an important agenda to us,” he said. “I hope that the bank will further play an important role in addressing these issues.”

Naruhito added that the region needed to address challenges related to infrastructure, power supply networks and transportation. Climate change and natural disasters mitigation were also pressing issues, he said.

Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, commended the bank for its achievements over the past 50 years.

He encouraged the ADB to continue to play a central role in regional development, adding: “Japan remains firmly committed to working hard for the development of the Asia-Pacific region, in close cooperation with the bank.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year