ADB sets out to return to Myanmar after 25 years

The Asian Development Bank is the latest to join an increasing number of donors that seek to re-establish international cooperation with Myanmar in light of ongoing reforms there.

ADB is “gearing up for re-engagement” and has sent missions to conduct exploratory work in Myanmar, the bank’s managing director Rajat Nag said, according to Bloomberg. Nag noted that the country’s development challenges are “huge,” particularly in the areas of infrastructure, social development and capacity building.

Negotiations with ADB shareholder are also underway to secure approval to formally start infrastructure and other development projects in Myanmar, Nag said. He added that the bank is likely to work with the United Nations and World Bank, among other multilateral organizations, to implement such projects.

ADB’s announcement is yet another sign that Myanmar’s recent pro-democracy reforms are gaining support from donors and Western countries. Japan, the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States are among several donors that hinted at plans to resume assistance or lifted certain sanctions imposed when the military took over Myanmar.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.