Friday, November 22, 2013

Improved investment climate will accelerate growth: ADB vice president

Maintaining stability and implementing reforms to improve the investment climate will help Nepal achieve much stronger growth than it has experienced in recent years," according to a higher official at the multilateral development agency.
"By achieving lasting peace, and staying on the course of economic reforms, and focusing on progressive social and human development programmes, Nepal can reach its full potential," said vice president for Finance and Risk Management at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Thierry de Longuemar, during an official inauguration the new office premises of the ADB Nepal Resident Mission, in Kathmandu, here today.
Congratulating for the successful Constituent Assembly (CA) elections he said that it would pave the way for drafting of the constitution.
Longuemar, assuring the bank's continued support for Nepal in achieving its development target and poverty reduction objectives, also hoped for many more years of productive collaboration.
The multilateral development partner has provided about $3.1 billion in concessional loans and grants for investment projects and about $175 million in technical assistance grants since 1969, according to the ADB Nepal office.
ADB assistance has focused on building roads, hydropower plants, and also helped improve well-being of the Nepalis, Longuemar said, adding that the ADB has recently endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy for Nepal – for a period of five years – that aligns with Nepal's development priority.
The five-year strategy is well aligned with the government's development objective of accelerated, sustainable, inclusive economic growth, said country director of the Nepal Resident Mission Kenichi Yokoyama, on the occasion. "It is flexible to adjust to any emerging needs under the ongoing political transition, has higher selectivity and focuses to tackle critical impediments such as bottlenecks in infrastructure and human capital with smaller number of larger projects, focuses on portfolio performances, and support strengthening enabling environment for public-private partnership and private sector investments."
ADB – that is marking two decades of close cooperation at the country level to promote development and reducing poverty – has been providing assistance for energy development, infrastructure building, agriculture development, climate change adaptation, environmental management, good governance, gender and social inclusion and financial management.
As Nepal is also the founding member of the ADB, the government hopes to get more support from the bank, said finance minister Shankar Prasad Koiral on the occasion. "After the new elected government will come to place, the economic agenda will get more priority," he said, adding that country's overall macroeconomic situation is encouraging.
The trusted and reliable development partner like ADB will be crucial for Nepal that is planning to upgrade to the developing country status from the current least developed country (LDC) status," said vice chair of the National Planning Commission (NPC).

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