BAKU, AZERBAIJAN (15 November 2016) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wencai Zhang met with Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Artur Rasi-zade, and Samir Sharifov, Minister of Finance and ADB Governor, to reaffirm ADB’s continuous support for the country’s development and reform priorities.
"I am here to get the latest update of economic situation in Azerbaijan, and discuss how ADB can provide more effective support to address current development challenges,” said Mr. Zhang. “ADB is committed to be a relevant, responsive, and results-oriented development partner to ensure that ADB-funded projects and programs deliver longer-lasting, and sustainable benefits for the country.”
In his third visit to Azerbaijan, Mr. Zhang acknowledged the country’s achievements in recent years, while recognizing the remaining and new challenges. These include economic diversification, unemployment, limited access to basic infrastructure services, and declining revenue due to the slump in oil prices and lower trade with key trading partners and remittances. Discussions have been held also on ADB’s future support of the government’s structural reforms and institutional development via technical assistance, policy-based and sector development operations.
Since joining ADB in 1999, Azerbaijan has received grants and loans amounting to $2.8 billion. ADB’s core ongoing operations in Azerbaijan include support for transport, energy, urban infrastructure, and the private sector, and technical assistance and program in various areas, including knowledge sharing of best international practices on finance, education, governance and economic development. ADB will continue to work with Azerbaijan and other development partners to promote cross-border links within the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.
During his visit, Mr. Zhang led the celebration of ADB’s 50th anniversary in Baku, where he highlighted the important role ADB has played in the remarkable transformation of Asia and the Pacific. Through its partnerships with its developing member countries and other stakeholders, ADB has mobilized and invested $250 billion in infrastructure, research, analysis, and knowledge sharing to expand opportunities and build prosperity across the region.
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 in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.