Desiring to answer various concerns highlighted in their 2030 priorities, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao delivered a press conference last May 3 at the Briefing Theater 1 of the ADB Headquarters. Nakao addressed various concerns about the bank’s plans for the different member countries. Issues such as job continuity, investments in infrastructures, and sustainable development goals were discussed, among many others.
Nakao was mainly concerned about the provision of support for the Philippines and its citizens. The president emphasized that ADB will continue to administer Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) which aim to support families, a program launched by the national government where parents are given respective sums of money to support their children in attending school, taking regular health check-ups through accredited clinics, and many more.
Furthermore, investments in Mindanao, specifically on road projects and infrastructure, were also put into perspective. Nakao clarified that ADB will continue to pursue a peaceful relationship with the respective local government units.
Ongoing issues in other member countries namely Afghanistan, Armenia, China, Fiji, Germany, and Nepal were discussed respectively. Meanwhile, talks regarding the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative were also put to light, as arguments that it will provide a crucial opportunity for the development of Europe, and especially for the port of Antwerp, arose. Likewise, the Velvet Revolution in Armenia was also discussed, as a reporter from the country asked about the impact of its continuity to the country’s investments.
Given that Afghanistan is currently facing security problems, concerns about future projects on infrastructure were discussed as well as shortage of budget in building these respective programs. Nakao shares that there is an Asian Development Fund where half of the grant money going to Afghanistan will be allocated to transport and energy. ADB will try to involve more committees in security to speed processes up, with the help of their local government units. Nakao likewise clarifies that there are many international players and contributors for projects in Afghanistan, and the country wouldn’t have a hard time attracting potential investors.
Nakao emphasized that the international use of RMB (Renminbi) still depends on market players, while highlighting that US dollars still serve as an important currency especially in the current market.
Problems in declined ADB disbursements on water in India were also raised. Nakao addressed the issue by stating that strengthening the implementation of disbursement projects through working closely with the country’s government is crucial. Gender issues and women empowerment were likewise addressed.
Vicky Tan, Principal Director of the ADB Department of Communication, presided the press conference.