CHIANG RAI, Thailand - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reaffirmed its continued support for sustainable infrastructure investment at the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao and Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong, the chair of this year’s ASEAN meetings, on Friday had an in-depth discussion about Thailand’s economic growth and ADB’s support, including infrastructure development projects in transport and energy.
ADB works closely with Thailand and is a major source for customized financial and knowledge solutions for the development needs of the upper-middle-income country. A
The bank made $7.23 billion in commitments to Thailand, including loans and grants, between 1966 and 2018, with $515 million in commitments last year, including a sovereign loan with flexible disbursement arrangements and a non-sovereign investment and technical support for Thailand’s first certified climate bonds.
On the sidelines of Friday's meeting, Mr. Nakao also met with other high-level ASEAN government officials, including Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, and Vietnam Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung, and voiced support for their countries’ development.
In a speech to ASEAN ministers, Nakao praised ASEAN’s solid economic growth—expected to average around 5% in 2019 and 2020, despite weakening global growth and some uncertainties including trade tensions between countries. He spoke of the importance of sustainable tourism for the inclusive growth of ASEAN countries. He noted the need for ASEAN countries to further strengthen regional trade and investment cooperation, cut red tape to improve the business climate, and lift services restrictions to boost e-commerce and tourism. The official also emphasized the importance of debt sustainability in infrastructure projects.
Mr. Nakao said ADB is expanding its loans and grants for ASEAN infrastructure projects and enhancing connectivity between countries. The bank continues to help mobilize more public and private funds for infrastructure through supporting reforms to strengthen tax collection, promoting public-private partnerships, and providing ADB’s credit enhancement functions. ADB says it is incorporating advanced technologies and innovative solutions in its infrastructure projects as well as social sector assistance in ASEAN countries.