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Strong Governance Key to Delivering Economic Benefits to All: ADB President
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Strong governance and constant vigilance against corruption are essential if Asia and the Pacific is to deliver the benefits of its economic boom to all, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda told a forum today.
"Asia must embrace the principle of inclusive growth, bringing more people into the circle of opportunity that growth and development provides. Governance is key to this issue," Mr. Kuroda told participants during a keynote speech at the 14th International Anticorruption Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
The biannual event held in different parts of the world attracts around 1,500 participants from over 135 countries, and this year ADB is one of the main partner organizations.
Asia is fast becoming the world’s leading economic powerhouse but many citizens are failing to benefit, with the region remaining home to two-thirds of the world’s poor. Corruption and weak governance results in fewer resources for infrastructure, education, health and other essential services, and low income groups inevitably suffer the most.
ADB recognizes that good governance and effective public institutions generate improved development outcomes. ADB provides wide-ranging assistance to member countries in areas such as judicial reform and strengthening the capacity of national and local government offices and agencies.
ADB also plays a role in the growing numbers of partnerships amongst governments and institutions at global, regional and national levels that have been set up to fight corruption. Among these partnerships is the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific.
Earlier this year, ADB also forged an agreement with the African Development Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and the World Bank Group, to mutually recognize debarments of firms and individuals found to have engaged in illegitimate activities in development projects.
"Serious governance and corruption challenges remain globally, as well as in the Asia and Pacific region," said Mr. Kuroda. "This situation is not acceptable and needs to change."