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May 4, 2017

World economic experts gather to reduce $26trln infrastructure investment gap in developing Asia

Business

May 4, 2017

YOKOHAMA: Global economic gurus will join forces from Thursday (today) to identify measures effective to abridge a staggering $26 trillion of infrastructure investment gap in developing Asia by 2030.

More than 5,000 delegates, including from North America and Europe, are expected to attend the 50th annual meeting of Asia Development Bank’s (ADB) board of governors from 4 to 7 May.

Finance and development ministers, central bank governors, other senior government officials, business executives, journalists, academics, and representatives from civil society, development organisations and youth from the Asia and Pacific region started arriving for the four-day meeting.

ADB said Asia and the Pacific has seen dramatic improvements in infrastructure that have driven growth, reduced poverty, and improved people's lives.

More than 400 million Asians still lack electricity; roughly 300 million have no access to safe drinking water; and 1.5 billion people lack basic sanitation. In order to bridge this infrastructure gap, developing Asia will need to invest $26 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or $1.7 trillion per year, if the region is to maintain growth, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change, it added.  Operating under the theme of “Building Together the Prosperity of Asia”, this year’s annual meeting will focus on the region’s growing need for infrastructure as a critical sector towards achieving sustainable and inclusive development.

Discussions on how to address urban challenges and strive for clean and climate-resilient development will be held. The flagship governors’ seminar on 5 May will discuss reforms in trade, investment, and finance, as well as lessons learned from the past 50 years of development in the region.

A special book launch, as part of ADB’s 50th anniversary celebrations, will be held on 4 May to discuss and share ADB’s role and future direction. Key sessions will discuss salient issues central to development including rising inequality, macroeconomic stability, progress on the sustainable development goals, and financial inclusion.

The annual meeting will highlight the role of the private sector in supporting development programs in Asia and the Pacific through seminars focused on public-private partnerships and co-financing.

Several other events, including discussions on lessons from the Asian financial crisis 20 years later, and a youth event focused on reducing poverty and fostering inclusive economic growth will also be held.

Manila-based ADB is working to reduce poverty in the region and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.

The annual meeting of the ADB board of governors provides guidance on ADB administrative, financial, and operational directions. The meetings provide opportunities for member governments to interact with ADB staff, nongovernment organizations, media, and representatives of observer countries, international organizations, academe and the private sector. ADB’s annual meetings have become a premier forum for the discussion of economic and social development issues in Asia and the Pacific.

 

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