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Financing Partners Forum
Opening remarks by Lakshmi Venkatachalam, ADB Vice President, at the 44th ADB Annual Meetings on Financing Partners Forum, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to ADB's 5th annual Financing Partners Forum.
As some of you may know, ADB has recently re-aligned its Office of Cofinancing Operations, and brought it, together with its Private Sector Operations Department, under a new Vice-Presidency which I have the privilege of heading. These changes reflect the growing importance of partnerships to successfully meet the region's development challenges. Under ADB's Strategy 2020, we are targeting a substantial increase in cofinancing over the next years. Our long-term objective is to have total annual direct cofinancing exceed the value of ADB's stand-alone project financing.
A significant percentage of these increased funds will have to come from commercial sources. We are actively seeking these through our complementary financing schemes and credit enhancement products. However, there are crucial aspects of our work that cannot be accomplished on commercial terms, and for which finance in the form of concessional loans or grants is absolutely necessary.
In addition to soft funding for non-revenue generating development projects, grant resources are required to support such areas as sector analyses, project preparation, and local capacity building. While the Asian Development Fund and our internal resources, such as the Technical Assistance Special Fund, are used extensively for these purposes, they need to be complemented by additional funding if we are to respond adequately to the identified needs and priorities in our developing member countries.
It is here that our relationship with official cofinancing partners, both bilateral and multilateral, takes on such an important dimension. Through these partnerships we can accomplish what none could accomplish alone. Combining resources and coordinating our efforts will ultimately bring the most effective results for the people in our region. In this regard, it is important to realize that these synergies do not only emerge from pooling our financial resources, but also from combining our knowledge and experience, and harmonizing our developmental priorities. Streamlining our interactions also reduces demands on our client countries.
ADB's partnerships with all of you gathered in this room today can significantly contribute to delivering results which are critical to achieving the overarching mission of the Bank which is an Asia Pacific Region free of poverty.
In order to highlight the salient features of the cofinancing relationships with our official development partners, we have started to roll out a new publication series called "Partnership Briefs." These are intended to direct public attention to the efforts undertaken by individual donor countries, in concert with ADB, to promote development in the Asia/Pacific region. This series was launched just prior to our seminar, along with our second annual Donor Report.
In this regard I would like to thank you for your positive feedback on individual drafts of the Partnership Briefs. This feedback will help us update and revise the series for all bilateral donors in the coming months. And we welcome your further comments, ideas and insights during the question and answer period of our session today.
Now, with my heartfelt appreciation for your ongoing support, let me request Mr. Tadashi Kondo, Head of our Office of Cofinancing Operations, to give you a short presentation on our cofinancing track record and new partnership initiatives we are currently considering.
Thank you very much.