ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today expressed ADB's full support for the Government of Mongolia's vision of modernizing its capital city and applauded its intention to invest in infrastructure that directly improves the lives of citizens.

"As in other rapidly-growing Asian countries, the primary challenge of growth is to ensure that its benefits are shared broadly including those living in cities and in the countryside. The key will be to ensure that standards of living and especially job opportunities are well balanced across the country," Mr. Nakao said at the official opening of the Takhilt Road, a seven-kilometer road linking the ger district and the center of Ulaanbaatar.

Since Mongolia joined ADB in 1991, Ulaanbaatar's population has almost tripled, placing great strains on the city's ability to cater equally to its citizens. To help alleviate this problem, ADB is working with the Mongolian government to provide safe, sustainable and reliable water supply, sanitation, and solid waste collection.

Commending Mongolia's rapid economic growth, Mr. Nakao said he agreed with and encouraged the Government's progressive policies for improving macroeconomic stability, investment climate, private sector development, and deepening of the financial sector. He also noted that the country was on track to achieve Millennium Development Goals on education and health.

During his two-day visit, Mr. Nakao met with President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj, Chairman of the State Great Khural of Mongolia Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, Deputy Prime Minister Dendev Terbishdagva, ADB Governor and Minister of Finance Chultem Ulaan, Minister for Economic Development Nyamjav Batbayar and other senior government officials, as well as civil society groups and think tanks. He also visited the Tuul River, the ger district in Ulaanbaatar and ADB-sponsored health and education projects.

Since joining ADB in 1991, Mongolia has received 50 loans totaling $954.6 million, and 12 Asian Development Fund grants for $172.2 million, and a technical assistance portfolio consisting of 22 projects totaling $24.2 million. ADB is the largest source of multilateral official development assistance.

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