ADB President Seeking New Responsiveness to Meet Region's Changing Needs

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (2 May 2005) - ADB would be looking for broad endorsement from its Board of Governors for adopting a new responsiveness to Asia and Pacific's rapidly changing needs, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said today.

Speaking as the official program of events for ADB's 38th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors opened today in Istanbul, the ADB President said he sees a continued important role for ADB particularly in three areas: Supporting regional integration, helping to finance the large investment needs of the region, and offering high quality advice to its developing member countries.

"ADB should continue to improve its efficiency and ensure that its products meet the requirements of the countries in the region to help reduce poverty," Mr. Kuroda said.

"We look forward to discussing with the Board of Governors ADB's role in the years ahead."

This is the first time ADB is holding its Annual Meeting in Turkey and it provides a first opportunity for Mr. Kuroda, who assumed office as ADB President on 1 February, to address its Board of Governors.

About 3,000 delegates are expected to gather in Istanbul for the meeting, for which Mr. Kuroda yesterday opened the registration process. Participants will include finance ministers, business and financial community representatives, civil society, and media who will be addressing issues affecting the region, such as trade and integration, infrastructure development, private sector opportunities, and the challenges of urbanization.

The three-day Annual Meeting itself opens on Wednesday when Mr. Kuroda will join Chairman of the Board of Governors and Turkish Undersecretary of Treasury Ibrahim Canakci and Turkish Minister of State for Economics Ali Babacan for the opening ceremony.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will give an address following a cultural event on Thursday evening.

The official program today includes an Open Forum on ADB-NGO Cooperation and a seminar on the Challenges of Implementing Legal Reforms in Asia - the first in a high-level seminar series that runs until Friday.