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Thursday, August 22, 2019

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: ADB President Meets Prime Minister of Malaysia, Reaffirms Support

Asian Development Bank issued the following announcement on May 17.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao met Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad today during a 2-day visit to Malaysia. They previously met in Kuala Lumpur in March 2013, shortly before Mr. Nakao took office at ADB.

Dr. Mahathir and Mr. Nakao discussed how ADB can support Malaysia in areas such as water, urban transport, and renewable energy, including the possibility of lending to help Malaysia incorporate more advanced technologies, diversify its project funding sources, and address debt sustainability. ADB’s assistance will foster inclusive growth, enhance institutional capacity, improve government efficiency, and promote climate change actions. They agreed on the importance of ADB’s continued engagement with upper-middle-income countries such as Malaysia based on ADB’s Strategy 2030 in support of these areas.

Mr. Nakao also met with Finance Minister and ADB Governor Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Ms. Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, and Chief Minister of the State of Kedah Mr. Mukhriz Mahathir.

Mr. Nakao congratulated the Prime Minister on his administration’s reform efforts during its first year, including measures to use financial resources efficiently for development projects, strengthen anti-corruption initiatives, and enhance Malaysia’s business ecosystem. He also commended the country’s strong macroeconomic conditions, including solid growth, price stability, current account surplus and healthy level of foreign exchange reserves. He supports the government’s policy of promoting new growth sectors and upgrading the skills of Malaysian workers.

“I appreciate the government’s efforts to balance its growth objectives with the need for prudent fiscal management to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Mr. Nakao. “The stronger emphasis on poorer states will help narrow the development gap and improve the living standards of the bottom 40% of the population in line with the government’s vision.”

Malaysia joined ADB as a founding member in 1966. Since then, Malaysia received $2 billion in ADB assistance for 77 investment projects, most of them during the 1980s and 1990s, in sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, and transport. The last ADB loan to Malaysia was approved in 1997 for a skills development project.

In recent years, ADB has provided technical assistance to several states in Malaysia to help develop green cities, renewable energy, integrated transport solutions, and special economic zones. ADB is also helping Malaysia improve civil servants’ capacities to manage economic development and project management, among others.

ADB’s partnership with Malaysia has also fostered regional cooperation. ADB has supported two regional cooperation initiatives, the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT–GT) and the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP–EAGA). ADB is the key development partner and advisor for both programs.

In April 2019, Malaysia, along with the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ADB, and other partners, launched the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, under the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF), a regional financing initiative established by ASEAN governments and ADB in 2011 and administered by ADB. Malaysia is the largest AIF shareholder from ASEAN, and the new facility will support green infrastructure in Southeast Asia and aims to spur $1.3 billion in green infrastructure investments.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Original source can be found here.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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