Closing Press Conference Statement at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors

Speech | 5 May 2013

Closing Press Conference Statement by ADB President Takehiko Nakao at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors on 5 May 2013 (as drafted).

Ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you for your participation in the 46th Annual Meeting. This meeting provided me an excellent opportunity to interact with governors, development partners including civil society, academia, and so on.

I have attended a number of seminars and conferences with distinguished discussants, in addition to the Governors' meeting. For instance, 'innovation for inclusion', 'delivering effective public services', 'managing inflation', 'India – next wave of inclusive growth' and so on and so forth. I have learned a lot during the past few days. I will continue this kind of interaction and deepen our dialogue to build a more open, transparent and effective ADB.

Among the challenges facing Asia and Pacific region today, participants shared the view that ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth is most critical. I am pleased that ADB Governors supported my vision of three 'I's' – a more innovative, more inclusive and more integrated Asia and the Pacific.

I can summarize this year's annual meeting of the Board of Governors in the following six observations.

First, many emphasized the need for ADB to continue its focus on infrastructure. They underlined the importance of infrastructure for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. In addition to our own resources, we were requested to actively explore greater opportunities for cofinancing with other bilateral sources and catalyzing private sector resources. I encouraged our developing member countries to mobilize their domestic resources.

Second, the issue of inclusiveness is increasingly important given rising inequalities across and within countries. Without addressing the issue of inequality, growth will not be sustainable. Inclusion and empowerment will continue to underpin our operations. In addition to other dimensions of inclusiveness, gender equality will be given a high priority.

Third, many asked us to give due attention to the environment, climate change and green growth. ADB will continue this emphasis. In particular, we will pay special attention to the needs of small island economies.

Fourth, many acknowledged ADB's important role in regional integration. I was encouraged by observations of the Governors that regional corporation and integration has provided very tangible benefits in Asia and the Pacific. For example, sharing of hydropower resources has been win-win solutions for participating countries, based on trust and a shared sense of interest. We will further strengthen our support to deepen integration across the region, and with the global economy.

Fifth, ADB is facing a resource challenge. This issue will require urgent and careful attention. We will look at all options for ensuring that our lending level remains adequate. We will also start the mid-term review of Strategy 2020 and work on the long-term vision for the Asian Development Fund, in close consultation with our shareholders.

Finally, Governors noted that, under Mr. Kuroda's leadership, ADB has become a highly relevant, responsive and results-focused institution. I will consolidate the gains made. I will intensify our internal reforms to further increase our efficiency and development effectiveness, especially when many of our shareholders face severe economic and financial difficulties. In particular, we will focus on improving project performance and outcomes.

Last but not least, I would like to sincerely thank the Government of India for hosting this 46th Annual Meeting. And I again thank the people of India for welcoming us – especially many officials and volunteers whose support has been invaluable.

Next year, Kazakhstan will host the 47th Annual Meeting in Astana. The Governor for Kazakhstan will serve as Chair of the Board of Governors. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Thank you. I would now be pleased to take your questions.