Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) President Takehiko Nakao have signed an agreement to establish a permanent office for the bank in Samoa.
The pair signed a host country agreement, which establishes a permanent country office for the bank, which replaces the mission that Samoa opened in 2016.
According to a statement by A.D.B, the signing is the beginning of a “scaling up” by the bank, where financing from the Asian Development Fund (A.D.F.) could reach up to $100,000 by 2020.
“Future support will continue to focus on economic infrastructure such as power, roads, and ports, as well as public sector management,” the statement continues.
“Total financing from A.D.F. for Samoa, including resources mobilized from A.D.F. funds allocated for regional initiatives could reach US$100 million in 2019-2020.”
A.D.B. intends to mobilize co-financing from Australia, New Zealand, the Green Climate Fund, and the World Bank as well.
Speaking with the media yesterday, President Nakao said it’s important to work together with leaders and A.D.B. governors in the region who face similar problems.
“They face common challenges of climate change, connectivity, transport, and communications and so on,” he said.
A.D.B. is furthering assistance in 11 Pacific island countries.
As well as Samoa, the extended missions of Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu will become country offices, and the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu will all see new country offices.
Currently, A.D.B. has resident missions in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, a Pacific liaison and coordination office in Sydney, and a Pacific sub-regional office in Fiji.
The A.D.B. intends to help member countries “achieve sustainable economic and social development, while strengthening climate and disaster resilience,” according to the statement.
At the end of 2018, active projects in the Pacific were worth over US$3 billion.
“Across the Pacific region, A.D.B. is significantly scaling up financing to help developing member countries. The volume of A.D.B. active projects in the Pacific has doubled every 5 years since 2005 and exceeded $3 billion as of end of 2018.”