SINGAPORE (5 March 2020) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat today officially opened ADB’s new office in Singapore, deepening efforts to collaborate on some of the most pressing development challenges facing Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Asakawa and Mr. Heng agreed that the Singapore office will create even more avenues to enhance cooperation between ADB and Singapore across the region, including tackling climate change, financing and building quality infrastructure, pioneering innovation in development operations, and managing urbanization.
“Singapore’s sophisticated private and public sector ecosystems will help us to mobilize investments and bring the latest technologies and management skills to development projects across the region,” said Mr. Asakawa. “The new office allows us to work closer with Singapore, leveraging its strengths particularly in infrastructure and innovation to support our developing member countries.”
Mr. Heng said: “Over more than 50 years, ADB has been contributing substantially and meaningfully to the development of the Asia-Pacific region. To maintain the region’s growth momentum, ADB has estimated that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030. Singapore shares ADB’s assessment that infrastructure is critical to the future development of Asia—within countries and across countries for better connectivity. Hence, Singapore established Infrastructure Asia in 2018 to work with like-minded partners like ADB. I warmly welcome ADB’s move to establish a presence in Singapore. By realizing synergies with our financial and services ecosystem, ADB can play an even more substantial role in meeting the region’s immense demand for infrastructure. Singapore is committed to furthering our partnership with ADB, including through project development, sharing of best practices, and deal brokering, to promote strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth for the region.”
The Singapore Office marks a new stage in the expansion of ADB’s private sector operations. It will be a lean and focused office comprising 12 specialists from ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD) and Office of Public–Private Partnership, working in a range of sectors including infrastructure, financial institutions, agribusiness, health and education, trade finance, private equity, and cofinancing. The office is led by Sonali Tang, who has worked at ADB for 5 years in various senior roles.
ADB’s private sector operations promote the investment of private capital for development purposes. Last year, PSOD completed 38 transactions, around one-fifth of ADB’s total operations by number. ADB aims to increase this to one-third of total operations by 2024. The office will make it easier for ADB to efficiently engage with clients, project sponsors, contractors, advisors, financiers, other international finance institutions, and professional service providers.
Singapore was a founding member of ADB in 1966. It borrowed from ADB until 1980 and graduated formally from borrowing in 1998. Since 2001, Singapore has contributed to ADB’s concessional fund, the Asian Development Fund, as well as the Technical Assistance Special Fund. In 2012, ADB and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance knowledge sharing and cooperation in governance and public policy, private sector development, climate change, and infrastructure and urban development. Singapore is an active participant in the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund that is supported by ADB.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.