OSAKA, JAPAN (28 June 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will open an office in Singapore to support the expansion of its private sector operations. An agreement establishing the new office was signed today on the sidelines of the G20 Summit by ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr. Heng Swee Keat.
“As one of the world’s leading financial and commercial hubs, Singapore is well suited to support the ongoing expansion of ADB’s private sector activities,” said Mr. Nakao. “Mobilizing private sector money from markets such as Singapore helps us to bring the latest technologies and management skills to development projects across the region in the infrastructure and social sectors.”
“ADB has estimated that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” said Mr. Heng. “To meet this need, governments will need to work with multilateral development banks, to make projects bankable and investible, in order to draw in private capital. We are happy that ADB sees value in tapping on Singapore’s financial and services ecosystem to catalyze the flow of private capital to meet the infrastructure needs in our region. Singapore looks forward to deepening our relationship with the ADB to help countries in the region realize the Sustainable Development Goals.”
ADB’s Singapore office is expected to open in the second half of this year, and will be a lean and focused office with 12 staff including staff from its Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD) and Office of Public–Private Partnership.
Last year, ADB’s PSOD operations covered 32 transactions amounting to $3.1 billion out of $21.6 billion total commitments of loans and grants. Under Strategy 2030, the number of private sector projects will increase to one-third of ADB’s operations (number of committed operations) by 2024, while $2.5 of long-term cofinancing will be targeted for every $1 of financing by 2030. Private sector operations will also strengthen support for frontier economies and expand operations in agriculture and social sectors such as health and education, in addition to renewable energy and other core infrastructure.
The Singapore office will help achieve this growth by making it easier to efficiently engage with project sponsors, contractors, advisors, financiers, other international financial institutions, and professional service providers. This is part of a wider move by ADB to have private sector staff based closer to clients in the region.
Singapore was a founding member of ADB when the bank was established 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. In 2012, ADB and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance knowledge sharing and cooperation in governance and public policy, private sector development, and climate change. Singapore contributes to the ASEAN Infrastructure Center of Excellence and is an active participant in the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, both 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. 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.