MALE, MALDIVES (24 May 2017) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wencai Zhang, on a 2-day visit to Maldives, met with President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to discuss ADB operations as well as the future direction of its partnership with Maldives.
Mr. Zhang also held discussions with Vice President Abdulla Jihad and Minister of Finance and Treasury Ahmed Munawar, and visited key project sites in the Greater Male Region, including the proposed locations of a solid waste management project in Thilafushi, a new city in Hulhumale, and the airport expansion in Hulhule.
“Maldives and ADB have had a good working relationship spanning almost four decades,” Mr. Zhang said. “We hope to strengthen our partnership even further in the coming few years. ADB plans to increase the resources available to Maldives for 2018-2019 for its indicative investment program, with an emphasis on developing the Greater Male Region.”
ADB is discussing with the government the formulation of a comprehensive development strategy for the Greater Male Region. The indicative investment program comprises two projects — one is the Greater Male Environmental Improvement and Waste Management Project. ADB will finance around $50 million, and the rest to be cofinanced by other development partners. The other is SASEC National Single Window Project.
ADB has been supporting the Government of Maldives since 1978. As of end of 2016, it has approved 27 sovereign loans and grants totaling $236.52 million for Maldives, and has funded 67 technical assistance projects totaling $29.65 million.
In recent years, ADB operations in Maldives have focused on energy, transport, public sector management, and private sector development. ADB has committed resources to help upgrade the country’s commercial and domestic harbors, ensure reliability of power supply to the capital and outer islands, boost economic growth, and reduce regional disparities in living standards.
In his discussions, Mr. Zhang encouraged Maldives to actively take part in regional cooperation programs. “Regional cooperation can help Maldives develop its full potential by improving its connectivity with neighboring countries, facilitating trade, and further fostering tourism development. ADB will support Maldives to establish National Single Window,” he said.
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, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.