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

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

Mr. Chairman, ADB Governors, ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you for your contributions and participation during the 46th Annual Meeting. This meeting provided me an excellent opportunity to interact with you. I have learned a lot during these past few days, and I look forward to acting on your guidance. As I mentioned in my opening address yesterday, I will continue our interaction and deepen our dialogue to build a more open, transparent and effective ADB.

During this meeting, I was impressed by remarks by Governors regarding their continued efforts for prudent macroeconomic management and structural reforms. This meeting was a good forum to exchange experiences.

Among the challenges facing Asia and Pacific region today, your shared view was that ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth is most critical. I appreciate your support for the vision of three ‘I’s —  a more innovative, more inclusive and more integrated Asia and Pacific.

I would like to close this meeting by making the following six points related to ADB operations.

First, many of you emphasized the need for ADB to continue its focus on infrastructure. You also underlined the importance of infrastructure for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. ADB will continue its focus on infrastructure. In addition to our own resources, we will actively explore greater opportunities for cofinancing with other bilateral sources and catalyzing private sector resources. We will also support our developing member countries in more effectively mobilizing their domestic resources, including through taxation and stronger financial systems.

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, as noted by many of you, we must give due attention to the environment, climate change and green growth. I assure you that this emphasis, too, will continue to guide our operations. In particular, we will pay special attention to the needs of small island economies.

Fourth, you have acknowledged ADB’s important role in regional integration. I was encouraged by observations of the Governors that regional integration has provided very tangible benefits in Asia and the Pacific. For example, sharing of hydropower resources has been win-win solution for participating countries, based on trust and sense of shared 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. We will closely consult with all of you in these processes.

Finally, as many of you mentioned, under Mr. Kuroda’s leadership, ADB has become a highly relevant, responsive and results-focused institution. I will consolidate the gains made.  I promise to 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. 

On behalf of all of us, 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.  

Before concluding, let me congratulate the Governor for Kazakhstan, who will serve as Chair of the Board of Governors for the coming year. I look forward to seeing all of you next year when we meet in Astana for ADB's 47th Annual Meeting.

Thank you again, and have a safe and pleasant journey home.