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ADB must reinvent to spur bounce

The ADB, as the largest and most experienced development institution in the Asia-Pacific region, must effectively assist developing economies to bounce back

Joshua Lao

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Mulilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) must ramp up its lending activity in the next five years to primarily assist developing nations with resources to catch up with rich countries during the recovery period.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide further assistance to poor members in terms of expanding its portfolio.

“The (ADB), as the largest and most experienced development institution in the Asia-Pacific region, must effectively assist developing economies to bounce back as fast as the developed countries,” Dominguez said during the virtual ADB Governors’ Seminar.

“However, this cannot be achieved if the bank maintains a business as usual approach,” he added.

According to him, ADB must continue to “reinvent itself” and realign its programs to address new realities and stay relevant amid the fast-changing landscape.

Key growth engine

“Specifically, there is a need for the bank to seriously consider a substantial expansion in its loan portfolio in the next five-year period. This will effectively support its member-countries’ recovery even if it brings forward the need for a capital increase,” Dominguez explained.

“ADB is the prime vehicle for regional cooperation in Asia. Without ADB, we would not have been able to react as fast as we have to the pandemic. ADB provided us the financing, the technical knowledge, even the procurement for the vaccines, and we commend them for this, and working together with ADB is really the prime example of regional cooperation in this area,” he added.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III stressed the importance of the partnership between public and private sector in terms of obtaining the required vaccines.

Partnership needed

“I don’t foresee this to be a totally government-driven enterprise. I believe it must be a partnership with the private sector. Private sector brings efficiency and frankly, in my experience as a government minister, efficiency is not number one in our DNA,” he explained.

“So I think a partnership with both where the goals and the profit, the return on investment are very clearly defined. I strongly believe that the private sector should be involved, and so must the government to moderate corporate greed,” he added.

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