As ADB expands operations, prospective partners step up their interest

By Pete Troilo 31 March 2017

A member of staff writing notes during a meeting at the Asian Development Bank Tajikistan Resident Mission in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Photo by: ADB / CC BY-NC

The Asian Development Bank held its eighth annual Business Opportunities Fair at its Manila, Philippines, headquarters on March 22 and 23. ADB officials reflected on the bank’s past performance, defined its future priorities and offered candid advice on what it takes to win projects with the bank. Attracting the largest audience of consultants and partners in its history, the event also highlighted the global interest in working with Asia’s oldest multilateral development bank, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Several strategic shifts are underway at ADB. Building on a mid-term review of Strategy 2020, the bank is preparing a new framework strategy to respond to the evolving development challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. ADB Strategy 2030, which is slated for finalization in 2018, will expand the vision of the bank, define how the ADB aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals, and identify potential institutional and organizational reforms. At the same time the merger of ADB’s two main lending instruments — the Asian Development Fund and the Ordinary Capital Resources — took effect on January 1, 2017, after the bank reached an all-time high of $17.5 billion in sovereign and non-sovereign project approvals in 2016. By 2020, ADB is planning on increasing loan and grant approvals to over $20 billion.

“This pipeline represents wide-ranging business opportunities,” said Deborah Stokes, ADB vice-president for administration and corporate management, who linked ADB’s budget and operations expansion to efforts to close Asia’s significant development financing gap.

The vast majority of ADB finance is channeled as loans through developing member countries. South Asia accounts for the largest portion of the ADB portfolio at 33 percent, while Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Vietnam and India account for approximately 60 percent of ADB’s portfolio.

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About the author

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Pete Troilo

As director of global advisory and analysis, Pete manages all Devex research and analysis operations worldwide and monitors key trends in the global development business. Prior to joining Devex, Pete was a political and security risk consultant with a focus on Southeast Asia. He has also advised the U.S. government on foreign policy and led projects for the Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corp.

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