Business Environment a Key to Development in Pacific, ADB President Kuroda tells Governors

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (4 May 2005) - Pacific countries need to provide a hospitable environment for private investment and job creation, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told a meeting of Pacific Governors of ADB.

Speaking yesterday on the eve of the opening of the 38th Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors, Mr. Kuroda noted that poverty is of growing concern in many parts of the Pacific, with hardship and vulnerability a common feature of life in many rural communities.

ADB last year approved a new Pacific Strategy, which provides a framework for addressing key constraints to economic growth and poverty alleviation. The Strategy underscores the need for good governance, sound policies, capable human resources, and appropriate infrastructure.

Another key element involves reorienting public sector management and resource allocation to improve the quality and reach of public services.

"In the coming years, ADB will sharpen its focus in the Pacific to make sure that our resources are directed at addressing these objectives," Mr. Kuroda said. "If your Government is keen to pursue these aims, I can assure you that ADB will strive to be a valuable partner."

Mr. Kuroda also highlighted the importance of pursuing regional cooperation and economic integration within the Pacific region.

"I am of the strong belief that the Pacific is a region where, despite the diversity that exists among the countries, there is significant potential for mutual gain from working together, and I believe that ADB can be a catalyst in this effort," he said.

At the meeting, governors discussed topics including ADB's program in the Pacific in 2004-2005, implementation of the Pacific Strategy, and ADB's new subregional offices.