DELHI, INDIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of India have agreed to a new country partnership strategy for 2013-2017 which supports the country’s 12th Five Year Plan to create jobs for youth, enhances ongoing investment reforms, and improves infrastructure in critical areas such as energy, transport, urban services and water.
The strategy comes with a financial envelope of around $10 billion, making India ADB’s single biggest client, representing one fifth of its total operations. ADB’s allocated resources to India could double in amount if third-party financing and lending to private and state-owned companies is taken into account.
ADB will also partner with India to anchor transactions that can tap national, regional and international capital markets which can help to shift savings into infrastructure development.
"Our new strategy places people first," said Juan Miranda, Director General for ADB’s South Asia Department. “India is taking credible steps to stabilize the economy and its currency, modernize its infrastructure, and promote social programs that will help those who should not be left behind. This strategy is a reflection of the government’s desire to bring high, inclusive and sustainable growth, create jobs, and cut red tape.”
The partnership focuses on placing people at the heart of development by creating skills that will allow youth to secure better jobs and wages, and then on companies, the main creators of these jobs. The strategy combines physical investments with knowledge products to target emerging issues such as urbanization, water scarcity, climate change, emission controls, internet connectivity, vocational training, and the development of capital markets.
Under the strategy, operations will center on lagging states with high poverty levels and gaps between rural and urban sectors. The northeast, for example, is a land-bridge for India to reach fast growing and lucrative ASEAN markets, illustrating why furthering regional cooperation and integration is a cornerstone of the strategy. This will be matched by work in economic corridor development, particularly in southeast India, which provides access to cost-effective shipping routes.