By M Naeem Chaudhry
YOKAHAMA (Japan) May 04 (APP): President Asian Development Bank, Mr Takehiko Nakao Thursday said that the Bank would continue to play crucial role in promoting sustainable economic development and growth in Asia and Pacific countries through enhanced lending programs for diverse sectors particularly infrastructure, energy, transport and communications.
In his opening press stakeout here at Conference Centre, the President presented detailed exposition of the Bank’s activities and achievements during its 50 years long odyssey, which enabled the Asian and Pacific countries’ economies to move from poverty to the rails of prosperity along with sustainable economic development and growth.
Though Asian Development Bank achieved significantly against the objectives and targets set for various sectors on economic front, however, he added many more challenges still needed to be addressed by promoting private sector role as well as its contribution towards realizing the goals.
While responding to a question, Mr Nakao stated more investment was required to be pumped into infrastructure, power, transport and communications areas. Transformative efforts will continue to be made for achieving the goals of sustained and resilient economies in this part of the globe.
He underscored the need of fostering further cooperation within the countries to traverse the path of economic growth on fast footing. During the last fifty years, he expressed this Institution expanded its membership and promoted idea of regional cooperation for mutual benefits.
Focus should be placed on regional development, he viewed continuing, the Bank is not merely competing on numbers of member countries, rather according proper heed towards substantial support for the social sector.
Replying to a query about financing the power and energy projects in view of their crucial role in the economic development process, the President stated it was one of the important priority areas in which Bank had been extending financial support.
Citing examples of financial support to power sector, he said the Asian Development Bank extended financing for Jamshoro power project and coal project, adding the bank was now focusing more on renewable energy, solar as well as hydro power projects.
Referring to the activities of the Bank since its inception in 1966, he narrated its broad functions including combining finance (loans and grants) with knowledge in infrastructure and social sector projects, promoting good policies through dialogue capacity building and policy based lending and catalyzing regional cooperation and friendship.
Asia Development is dedicated towards reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific region through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration, the President commented.