Thursday, September 27, 2012

ADB director-general reiterates commitment to support economic development

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue to work closely with the government of Nepal in helping to reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth for all Nepalis, said director-general of ADB’s South Asia department Juan Miranda at the end of his two-day visit to Nepal here today.
Miranda said that he has been following developments in Nepal with keen interest.
“ADB appreciates that Nepal has maintained steady economic growth and macroeconomic stability despite challenging conditions,” he said, stressing the importance of staying the course on economic reforms and development to address poverty and other development challenges as well as achieve higher economic growth.
During Nepal visit Miranda met with finance minister, vice-chair and members of the National Planning Commission (NPC), chief secretary, other senior government officials, development partners, private sector representatives, and the media.
His discussions focused on the need for addressing infrastructure bottlenecks with accelerated development project implementation and private sector investments, and building stronger capacities, governance systems, and enabling environment to support these ends.  
He sought the government’s support and active participation by all stakeholders in the formulation of ADB’s new Country Partnership Strategy for Nepal.  In this context it was agreed that ADB’s support would be more selective and focused addressing the country’s development constraints including energy, transport, urban and rural infrastructure, and skills development. In support of these priorities, ADB will also promote governance, private sector development, regional integration, gender and social inclusion, and climate change adaption.
Miranda also discussed the Melamchi Water Supply Project. “We had a productive discussion with the Ministry of Urban Development on the specific actions to move forward, including the smooth settlement with the outgoing contractor, and swift selection of an internationally reputed, committed and dedicated contractor who can deliver high quality infrastructure in a timely and efficient way,” he said, adding that ADB remains fully committed to providing the necessary support to the government to ensure that the project is completed by early 2016 or earlier, given the importance of the project to alleviating acute water supply shortages for the 2.6 million people in the Kathmandu Valley.
Miranda also discussed the country’s critical energy shortages and reiterated ADB’s commitment to supporting the Government in resolving the issue.
In meetings with the secretaries of the Ministries of Energy and Finance, he discussed the proposed 140MW Tanahu Hydropower Project, which is at an advanced stage of preparation. Discussion focused on the financing structure, and the need and steps to engage highly qualified construction supervisors and contractors to achieve timely construction of this critical infrastructure.      
During his meetings with development partners and private sector representatives, Miranda discussed the current situation in Nepal and highlighted the importance of closer collaboration between development partners and private investors in helping the government create a conducive environment for development.
ADB has worked in partnership with the government of Nepal since the country joined ADB as a founding member in 1966. As of 31 August 2012, Nepal has received 158 loans/grants —122 sovereign Asian Development Fund (ADF) loans ($2,775.88 million), 5 non-sovereign loans ($58.64 million), and 31 ADF grants ($742.25 million) - totaling $3,576.77 million in support.

No comments: