ADB: No longer the only player in town

ADB ‘not the only game in town anymore’ — Stephen Groff

As the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is steadily taking shape, Devex asked Stephen Groff, vice president for operations at the Asian Development Bank, how this new regional development bank will affect the Manila-based institution.

At the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali in October, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed creating an infrastructure development bank for Asia. Back then, the bank seemed like a pipe dream. But as details emerge on how the bank will be funded and structured, the tentatively called AIIB may now be established sooner than people thought.

So what does the ADB — the premiere multilateral development bank in and for Asia — think about this new China-led infrastructure development bank?

“I think that certainly there’s a demand within the region for different types of instruments and different types of support,” Groff told Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar in a video conversation at the sidelines of the Devex Partnerships Forum in Manila.

“If you look at the need for infrastructure investment in Asia as a whole, developing Asia as a whole, it’s about $8 trillion between now and 2020,” Groff pointed out, stressing that ADB’s $15 billion annual investment in infrastructure won’t be enough to “serve all the needs of Asia.”

Groff warned, however, that for these infrastructure investments to be sustainable and create the impact they were designed to achieve, safeguards are needed.

Watch the above video to find out more insights from Groff on other sources of infrastructure funding in Asia and why he thinks safeguards are “critically important” for these investments.

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About the author

  • Aimee Rae Ocampo

    As former Devex editor for business insight, Aimee created and managed multimedia content and cutting-edge analysis for executives in international development.