SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (6 August 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Ms. Lotte Schou-Zibell as the new Regional Director of its Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office (PLCO) based in Sydney. Ms. Schou-Zibell, who assumed office this week, said she will focus on expanding and further developing the finance sector in the Pacific subregion.
“I am honored to lead PLCO and help ADB’s Pacific member countries in their development journey. To do this, it’s important to support the development of the subregion’s finance sector,” said Ms. Schou-Zibell. “ADB will make use of available technology and resources to strengthen human capacity and help accelerate the industry’s digital transformation. The strong partnerships we have with the governments of Australia and New Zealand and with other development partners working in the subregion will allow us to enhance aid coordination.”
Ms. Schou-Zibell, a national of Sweden, has more than 30 years of professional experience in operational and regulatory policy aspects of developed and developing countries, including 13 years working in ADB. In her recent role as the Chief of ADB’s Finance Sector Group, she led the implementation of various innovation-focused technical assistance grants, as well as the establishment and maintenance of a number of partnerships, including in knowledge, cofinancing, and interagency cooperation.
PLCO is the focal point for programming, processing, and administration of assistance in Nauru, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. It is ADB’s sector hub for private sector and finance sector development for the 15 Pacific developing member countries. PLCO’s location in Sydney enables ADB to work closely with key bilateral development partners, as well as the World Bank Group and other multilateral institutions in the region.
For more than a decade, the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), cofinanced by the governments of Australia and New Zealand and supported by ADB, continues to help create a more enabling business environment and promote private sector investment in the Pacific. PSDI, based in ADB’s office in Sydney, is assisting Pacific governments to modernize business laws and competition regulations, improve access to finance and financial services, and improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises and support public–private partnerships.
The multi-donor Pacific Region Infrastructure Fund Coordination Office, also based in ADB’s office in Sydney, works closely with Pacific governments to coordinate development partner assistance to improve the quality, reliability, and availability of critical infrastructure in both rural and urban areas to boost economic growth, create jobs, and provide access to public services.
PLCO is upgrading the largely unworkable boat harbor in Nauru through the Nauru Sustainable and Climate Resilient Connectivity Project, among other activities. ADB is also assisting with renewable energy and transport development projects in Solomon Islands. In Vanuatu, ADB is involved in renewable energy and the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and climate-proofing of roads affected by Cyclone Pam.
ADB has been assisting the Government of Nauru since 1991 with approved loans, grants, and technical assistance amounting to over $25 million. ADB and Solomon Islands have been working together since 1973 and the country has received over $275 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance. ADB, meanwhile, began supporting Vanuatu in 1981 and has since committed loans and grants totaling $178.5 million, as well as technical assistance projects worth $23.8 million.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.