The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has poured in USD16.5 billion as of February this year for developmental projects in ASEAN member states.
This amount has financed 159 projects in Southeast Asia aiming to address the rising inequality in the region, narrowing infrastructure investments gap, and training skilled labors to fuel the ASEAN’s growth.
ADB data showed that 47 percent of its portfolio in the region went to Vietnam, which the Bank financed 59 projects worth USD7.8 billion.
Indonesia and the Philippines are the next biggest clients for ADB, accounting for 21 percent (USD3.5 billion) and 16 percent (USD2.7 billion), respectively, of its total portfolio in the region.
About 7 percent of ADB’s portfolio in ASEAN went to Cambodia, which amounted to USD1.2 billion; Lao PDR, with 4 percent share amounting USD 730 million; Myanmar, with 4 percent share amounting USD620 million; and Thailand, with 1 percent share amounting to USD100 million.
The institution prioritizes projects in infrastructure including transport, energy, water, and urban services; public sector management; finance; health and education; water management and agriculture; climate change and disaster risk management; and regional cooperation and integration.
In particular, ADB’s projects in the Philippine include 280 kilometers of national roads and bridges, detailed design of 300 kilometers of national highways in Mindanao; the JobStart Program in 32 local government units, helping 50,000 out-of-school youths to prepare them to join the workforce; and assisting in rehabilitation of 74 poor municipalities affected by typhoon Yolanda.
In one of the media briefings during the 51st ADB Annual Meeting from May 3 – 6, ADB Director General for Southeast Asia Department Ramesh Subramaniam said the Bank remains optimistic with the economy of the region.
Subramaniam noted that ASEAN continues to be the fastest growing region in the world.
He added that this growth would be sustainable with better infrastructure connectivity and regional cooperation.
The Philippines concluded its hosting of the 51st ADB Annual Meeting on Sunday. (PNA)
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