LABUAN BAJO, INDONESIA (11 May 2022) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa today called for regional cooperation in tackling climate change and other critical development challenges while participating in the 15th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Leaders’ Summit and the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Leaders’ Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.

“The threats confronting us today are quite different from those of 3 decades ago,” said Mr. Asakawa in remarks delivered to IMT-GT leaders. “It is crucial that we work collectively to tackle these challenges, the most pressing of which are climate change, food and energy security, and trade and supply chain disruptions.”

Underscoring the threat that climate change poses to Asia and the Pacific economies, Mr. Asakawa urged IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA leaders to develop low-carbon policies in tandem with green and blue recovery projects. As the region’s climate bank, ADB is intensifying efforts to deliver $100 billion in climate financing across Asia and the Pacific by 2030, while supporting a range of initiatives like the Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and the Pacific to help countries transition to low-carbon futures. 

The region is also facing dual food and fuel crises, prompting Mr. Asakawa to call on leaders to take urgent action on food supply and value chains, while working to improve energy security. Across Asia and the Pacific, ADB is supporting food security with a comprehensive $14 billion program through 2025, while also spearheading game-changing initiatives in the energy sector including the Energy Transition Mechanism.

Mr. Asakawa also said that by expanding economic corridors and bolstering special economic zones, IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA economies can help build subregional connectivity and ease trade and supply chain disruptions. ADB recently completed a study on special economic zones in the BIMP-EAGA community and has just begun a study on economic corridors. 

The IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA meetings were held on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and included leaders from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Mr. Asakawa also met with Malaysia Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who he congratulated on becoming prime minister and for Malaysia’s strong support for regional cooperation.

IMT-GT was established in 1993 with the objective of accelerating economic transformation in disadvantaged areas in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand by leveraging their complementarities and comparative advantages. BIMP-EAGA was established in 1994 as an initiative dedicated to spurring development in remote and less developed areas in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. BIMP-EAGA aims to increase trade, tourism, and investments in the subregion. 

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.

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