NEW DELHI, INDIA (14 February 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Wencai Zhang today reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to enhance investments in boosting industrial competitiveness to create more and better jobs and support inclusive infrastructure and social services in low-income states under the recently approved Country Partnership Strategy 2018-2022.

“ADB’s support for strategic planning of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) is progressing well and is providing a basis for enhancing investments in infrastructure and institutions to create world-class industrial parks,” said Mr. Zhang who concluded his 3-day visit to India today, and highlighted ADB’s intention to scale up investments in low-income states such as Bihar to help address the government’s priority of accelerating rural income growth.

Mr. Zhang said that ADB was preparing three investment projects for transport, urban, and energy sectors for $1.5 billion identified in ECEC to be approved in 2018. The bank is also consulting with the government and other stakeholders on further projects in Tamil Nadu and Odisha. ADB is currently assisting the $631 million project in Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor in Andhra Pradesh.

At his meeting with senior officials of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance on 12 February, Mr. Zhang complimented the government for presenting a progressive budget for 2018-2019 with 21.3% increase in infrastructure outlay. He reaffirmed ADB’s intention to scale up annual lending to $4 billion from an average of $2.65 billion in 2013-2017, focusing on economic corridors, low income states, and regional connectivity with South Asian, Southeast Asian, and other countries in the region. During his meeting with officials from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Zhang also expressed appreciation for an emerging new partnership to help develop multimodal logistic parks.

Mr. Zhang later traveled to Patna, Bihar and met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior state government officials. He conveyed ADB’s preparedness to forge partnerships in rural roads and rural drinking water supply in iron-contaminated areas in response to the state’s keen interest. Mr. Zhang  visited the project site of the New Ganga bridge, for which ADB has committed $500 million loan to the state government, and interacted with the project beneficiaries. He also visited a training center of Bihar Skill Development Mission of the Government of Bihar.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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