MANILA, PHILIPPINES (29 January 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Mr. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. met on Tuesday to discuss stronger partnership on institutional matters.
Mr. Nakao expressed his deep appreciation to Mr. Locsin for the long-standing cooperation of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the implementation of the Headquarters Agreement between ADB and the Philippines signed in 1966.
“ADB is committed to further strengthening our relations with the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Mr. Nakao said.
The Philippines is a founding member of ADB and has hosted ADB’s headquarters since its establishment in 1966. The country has hosted 16 Annual Meetings of ADB’s Board of Governors, including the successful 51st Annual Meeting in May 2018, with more than 4,000 participants.
ADB is a strong partner in the development of the Philippines and is one of the country’s largest sources of sovereign and nonsovereign lending, grant, and technical assistance, extending nearly $19 billion in assistance in areas including public sector management; energy; agriculture, natural resources, and rural development; and finance between 1969 and 2018.
In 2018, ADB lent $1.38 billion to the Philippines for two policy-based loans on public-private partnerships in infrastructure and financial inclusion, Mindanao growth corridors roads project, and the emergency loans and grants to support recovery for Marawi. In 2019, ADB expects to roll out its biggest program of support exceeding $2.5 billion with flagship projects including the Malolos–Clark railway project, EDSA Greenways project, Angat water transmission improvement project, the secondary education support project, policy-based loans on local governance, youth employment and capital markets, and a capacity building project to foster competition.
“Over the next few years, ADB assistance to the Philippines will focus on three priority areas: accelerating infrastructure and long-term investments, promoting local economic development in Mindanao and Visayas, and investing in people,” Mr. Nakao said. The country operations business plan includes $7.14 billion in lending for the three-year period of 2019 to 2021.
With the Philippine economy recording economic growth of 6.2% for 2018, it continues its longest economic expansion in 50 years. ADB expects the economy to continue this expansion in the medium term with public and private investment and household consumption driving this growth. ADB has projected the Philippine economy to grow by 6.7% this year.
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 67 members—48 from the region.