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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Fiji creates history, first Pacific country to host ADB annual meeting

Fiji will become the first Pacific developing member country (DMC) of the Asian Development Bank to host its 52nd annual meeting in 2019.

While the final decision will be finalised by ADB Governors on Saturday, the President of the multilateral lending agency, Takehiko Nakao announced to Pacific DMC leaders here in Yokohama Wednesday that Fiji will host the ADB meeting in two years, after Manila in 2018.

“The annual meeting in Fiji will truly be a historic occasion as it will be the very first ADB Annual Meeting hosted by a Pacific developing member country. The Annual Meeting in Nadi will be an opportunity to emphasise that development needs in the Pacific are unique, said the President Nakao ahead of the Saturday meeting.

“As we begin our journey to Nadi together, our longstanding partnership will continue to be a source of strength, inspiration, and support for the Pacific, and for its people.”

Speaking to Pacific journalists in Yokohama, the head of ADB’s Pacific Department, Xianbin Yao confirmed Fiji’s successful bid saying the decision is ‘unprecedented’ representing the growing importance of the Pacific in the overall operation of the ADB.

“Fiji hosting the annual ADB meeting is the first ever even among other multilateral development banks (MDBs).Never been done by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. This is unprecedented and a historical moment for the ADB.

“Although Pacific countries are very small in terms of population, they form a very significant part of the development priorities of the ADB. The ADB charter has special provision for supporting Small Island Developing Countries. We are following the charter’s provision and working with Pacific countries to address their priorities, focusing on climate change, connectivity, human development and more importantly public financial management.”

Currently, the ADB has a portfolio of US$2.6 billion committed for the Pacific region covering 14 Pacific DMCs and Timor Leste.

“The speed of growth has been rather fast. For the past 10 years our financing has doubled every five years. Over the next 3-4 years we expect it to double again addressing the specific priorities of climate change and disaster risk management, said DG Yao.

The 2019 conference in Fiji is expected to attract between 3,000-5,000 delegates from member governments, civil society groups, private sector and the media.  More than 5,000 delegates and 440 international media have registered for this year’s summit in Yokohama conference, which is celebrating the bank’s 50th anniversary as a multilateral lending agency in the Asia Pacific region.

In addition, Fiji’s Presidency of the global climate change talks dubbed COP23 in 2017 highlights the linkages between climate change and development.

“ADB will actively support Fiji to prepare for COP 23. As I noted earlier, ADB will make much greater efforts to mobilise financing for climate resilient development in the Pacific, said President Nakao.

Fiji joined the ADB in 1970 receiving $509 million in loans, $35 million in grants and $32 million in technical assistance. ADB’s work has been largely directed to improving transport infrastructure and extending the supply of clean water and modern sanitation.

ADB’s most recent investment loan project with Fiji is a multi-tranche financing facility of $153.2 million to improve the supply of reliable and safe water to the greater Suva area and increase waste water treatment and management capacity. The total cost of the project of $405 million will be shared between the ADB, the European Investment Bank, the Government of Fiji and the Green Climate Fund.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 2:09 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article


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