ADB's Commitment To Pacific Region Growing

ADB in 2016 commited USD$900 million to projects in the region

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, October 30, 2016) – The Asian Development Bank will increase its financial commitment to the Pacific Region in the coming years, said its Executive Director, Ms Swati Dandekar who visited Tonga with six Executive Directors from 25-29 October.

The ADB in 2016 commited USD$900 million to projects in the region.
 
Ms Dandekar was speaking on the 50th Anniversary of the ADB and gave a presentation on the working relationship between Tonga and the ADB over the years and the future prospects, at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre on Friday, 28 October.

Tonga's Minister of Finance, Hon. 'Aisake Eke and Tatafu Moeaki, Tonga’s former Secretary of Finance, but now the ADB Country Coordination Officer in Tonga also spoke at the event.

Tonga became a member of the Asian Development Bank in 1972.

Tatafu said that since 1972 the ADB had invested USD$168 million in Tonga. Fifteen development projects in Tonga were funded with loans from the ADB, and eight projects were funded with ADB grants.

The ADB and World Bank had jointly committed of around USD$26 million to cover costs for the construction of the underwater cable network between Tonga and Fiji; and recently the ADB was a leading annual contributor of Budget Support to Tonga’s national budget of $5 million.

The ADB has also commited to fund the extension of the underwater cable communications network from Tongatapu to Ha’apai and Vava’u.

Future partnership projects which are being explored included an Evacuation Bridge that will run from Ma'ufanga to either Folaha or Lafalafa, and a local slipway for ferries.

In 2013 the ADB changed Tonga’s status from ‘high risk’ to ‘moderate risk’. Since then Tonga’s loans from the ADB are structured as 50%  grant and 50% credit.

The Asian Development Bank was established in 1966 with 31 member states. Now it has 67 members, 32 from Asia, 16 from the Pacific and 19 from Europe.

The ADB delegation, led by Ms Dandekr and accompanied by Assistant Executive Directors, Mr Mario Di Maio, Mr Joar Strand, Mr Johannes Schneider, Mr Sharafjon Sheraliev, Mr Masashi Tanabe and Tonga’s adviser to the ADB Ms Lesieli Tufui Faletau, left Tonga yesterday, 29 October.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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