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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (July 2, 1999 - The Marshall Islands Journal)---The Asian Development Bank is not pushing loans on the Marshall Islands, a visiting ADB official told the Journal in response to recent articles in the press.

"Our strategy is to come in, in areas where the government wants help," said Tilak Sen, who is in Majuro putting the final touches on the Ebeye loan agreement with the RMI.

"We are not here to push loans on the government that it doesn’t want."

While the Bank will continue to do its best to be flexible and help the government on its own initiatives, it also faces constraints – primarily the heavy competition from member countries for its low interest loans.

"We definitely look for performance," he said. There is a lot of pressure on the Bank to provide loans to many of its member countries so the countries with the best performance will tend to get priority in loans, he indicated.

"The more you deliver," he said, "it makes my life easier (to get loans and technical assistance)."

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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