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Funds meant to stimulate sluggish economy

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 28, 2009) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) vice-president C. Lawrence Greenwood, Jr. is in Rarotonga this week to sign the bank’s economic support programme with the Cooks.

Greenwood will attend the Forum Economic Ministers meeting, hold talks with senior Cook Islands government officials and key private sector representatives, and take part in consultations on the bank’s assistance to Cook Islands.

During his first official visit to Cook Islands, he will also discuss ADB’s assistance programmes, including the recently approved US$10 million ($13.4 million) economic recovery support programme, and ADB’s climate change initiatives.

Today Greenwood and deputy prime minister and finance minister, Sir Terepai Maoate will sign the programme loan agreement.

The programme aims to give the country a short-term boost in economic activity in response to the global economic crisis, while supporting structural and governance measures that will aid economic recovery. A press conference will follow.

Greenwood was appointed to his current post in December 2005. He is responsible for ADB’s operations in the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

A career diplomat for nearly 30 years, Greenwood has extensive experience in Asia and the Pacific, international finance, development, trade, and investment.

Since the Cook Islands became a member in 1976, ADB has approved 14 loan projects amounting to US$45 million ($60.4 million) and 29 technical assistance projects of almost US$10 million ($13.4 million).

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