MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue to play a prominent role in Pacific region transport infrastructure investment, while supporting efforts to expand capacity as well as institutional and policy reform, according to the organization’s latest Pacific Transport Update 2013.
The report shows that ADB’s pipeline of transport projects for 2014-2016 is projected to reach about $484 million, building on an existing portfolio of ongoing projects worth $1.8 billion.
“ADB’s transport strategy in the Pacific is focused on improving access to domestic and international markets, boosting linkages to health, education and other social services, and providing integrated networks for inclusive development, said Robert Guild, ADB Pacific Department Director of Transport, Energy, and Natural Resources. “Transport development that is inclusive and sustainable is critical to meeting the development challenges of the Pacific.”
TThe ADB report highlights the breadth of investments in land, sea, and air transport to support improved connectivity in the Pacific region. It describes country by country pipelines of projects and technical assistance that governments have prioritized for ADB assistance. The report also provides a summary of operations that includes 23 projects underway in 2013 in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu, as well as regional initiatives.
Almost two-thirds of the financing of current operations is from ADB and more than one third from governments and development partners including Australia, New Zealand, European Union, World Bank and Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility.
Pacific Transport Update 2013 notes investment in transport is critical to addressing the vast distances and high production and market costs faced by remote and isolated Pacific communities. Transport routes from the Pacific to overseas markets are among the world’s longest.
ADB’s transport operations have increased significantly. Of all the Pacific countries that feature in the report, Papua New Guinea receives the largest investment in civil aviation, road, port, border and community water projects. Road projects in Timor-Leste also receive high levels of investment. Solomon Islands is also a major beneficiary of funding to implement road, transport sector and domestic maritime projects.
The report says ADB operations in the Pacific also focus on the safety, security and maintenance of transport infrastructure as well as building climate resilient infrastructure.