ADB sets up trust fund to foster HLT with Japan to be first donor: Taro Aso

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By M Naeem Chaudhry

YOKOHAMA (Japan), May 7 (APP): The Asian Development Bank will
establish a trust fund to foster the integration of high-level technology (HLT) and innovative solutions in the design and implementation of its projects in Asia and the Pacific.
Japan will be the first donor to the fund which will provide grants
for technical assistance projects, investment projects, and recruitment
of technology experts to promote the integration of HLT and innovative solutions throughout the project cycle ‘from identification to implementation’ of ADB-financed and administered sovereign and
non-sovereign projects.
“Enhancing the quality of infrastructure is important in realizing
sustainable economic growth. Japan welcomes and supports ADB’s
initiative to incorporate advanced technologies into projects.” said
Taro Aso, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and ADB Governor in his speech during the opening session of the 50th Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors here.
“Japan has been promoting quality infrastructure in Asia,
collaborating closely with ADB. To further strengthen the partnership,
Japan will provide $40 million over 2 years to the new trust fund for HLT,” he added.
The HLT fund to be operational by July, will support a broad range of
technologies and innovative solutions that are either new or need scaling-up, not only to improve project impact but also to develop the countries’ technological capability. The fund may be used for feasibility studies, detailed designs, knowledge transfer, policy advice, pilot and demonstration activities, among others.
“Many developing member countries find it challenging to introduce
HLT in their countries due to lack of resources and limited institutional experience,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao continuing, “ADB appreciates Japan’s support in the establishment of the much needed HLT Fund. This will pave the way for promoting more advanced and cleaner technology in our operations.”
ADB intends to enhance its use of HLT in areas such as climate change,
smart grids, mass energy storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy, toll/ticketing systems, intelligent transport systems, mass transit, smart cities, waste-to-energy technology, desalination, and remote sensing technology.
A new procurement framework, approved by the ADB Board of Directors on
12 April, will place more weight on quality and help promote HLT facilities in ADB-financed projects.