TOKYO, JAPAN - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis-Alberto Moreno signed a partnership agreement today in Tokyo that will see their two institutions work more closely in areas ranging from trade facilitation and regional cooperation to climate change.
President Kuroda and President Moreno also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly support projects and programs promoting sustainable, low-carbon transport in their respective developing member countries.
"As the world economic order gradually takes on a new shape and structure, it is important that our two regions increase cooperation; reduce barriers to trade, investment, and finance; and work together to promote financial stability along with regional and global public goods," President Kuroda said at the signing.
President Moreno said: "There's enormous interest in Latin America and the Caribbean to build closer ties with Asia and the Pacific. Strengthening our partnership with ADB is an excellent way to help our member countries in achieving that goal."
The agreements come ahead of a series of meetings between ministers and leaders of the 21 Pacific Rim members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Singapore later this week. Discussions at those meetings are likely to center around economic and trade issues, and regional cooperation.
The two regions - Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific - share a number of characteristics. Both have huge potential for economic growth and development, yet are vulnerable to external shocks such as the global downturn and volatile capital flows. Both regions are tackling poverty and inequality, and face vast environmental challenges.
At the same time, the two trans-Pacific regions, which collectively constitute a quarter of the global economy, could benefit enormously from a further expansion in economic relations. Interregional trade exceeded $300 billion in 2008, but economic links between the two regions remain relatively weak and show little diversification.
The agreements signed today mark another step in deepening cooperation between ADB and IDB over the past decade. In June, for example, ADB and IDB agreed to share access to their trade finance programs linking more than 100 financial institutions to support trade between companies in the two regions.
The Washington, DC-based IDB promotes economic, social and institutional development and regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its establishment, approved a record $11.2 billion in lending last year. Among its 48 members are three Asian countries: the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.