When Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao announced his intention to merge the bank’s two main financial instruments — the Asian Development Fund and the Ordinary Capital Resources — last year in Astana, Kazakhstan, he only had one goal in mind: to do more for Asia-Pacific.
“[The ADF-OCR merger] is a very important issue,” Nakao shared with Devex in an exclusive interview at the bank’s Manila headquarters, ahead of this this weekend’s annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan. The combined resources, the bank president said, can increase ADB’s concessional lending and grants by up to 50 percent, from “$13 billion a year for approval to $20 billion, if there’s a need.”
Asia and the Pacific is home to more than 60 percent of the world’s population, including two-thirds of the people living on less than $1.25 a day, according to U.N.data. The region also has a massive infrastructure investment gap: ADB estimates Asia-Pacific needs $800 billion a year in infrastructure spending over the next decade.
Development movers and shakers will gather in Baku, Azerbaijan, this weekend to discuss Asia-Pacific’s development future at the 48th Asian Development Bank annual meeting. Devex outlines some key areas to watch out for during the 4-day event.
The merger — largely considered as the biggest undertaking thus far of Nakao’s roughly two-year tenure at the helm of the Manila-based financial institution — holds promise for mobilizing greater resources to address Asia-Pacific’s needs.
Lean Alfred Santos is a Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining Devex, he covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics. Lean is based in Manila.
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