NADI, FIJI (5 May 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Kiribati, Tonga, and Tuvalu have signed Host Country Agreements, confirming the establishment of Country Offices to enhance the impact of ADB’s growing assistance programs in these countries and further expand the bank’s support in the Pacific.
Kiribati’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development and ADB Governor Mr. Teuea Toatu and Tonga’s Finance Minister and ADB Governor Mr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa signed the agreements for their respective countries today, while Tuvalu’s Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and ADB Governor Mr. Maatia Toafa signed the agreement on 30 April, ahead of the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors in Nadi, Fiji, from 1 to 5 May. Director General for the Pacific Ms. Carmela Locsin signed the agreements on behalf of ADB at the events.
The ADB Kiribati Development Coordination Office, the ADB Extended Mission in Tonga, and the ADB Tuvalu Development Coordination Office are the first group of ADB field presences in Pacific developing member countries to be converted into country offices.
“Across the Pacific, ADB is significantly scaling up financing to help developing member countries achieve sustainable economic and social development, while enhancing climate and disaster resilience,” said Ms. Locsin. “The new country offices will allow ADB to have more regular contact and substantive communication with government and development partners.”
With growing commitments for new activities, ADB’s portfolio of active investments in the Pacific has doubled every 5 years since 2005, and now stands at $2.8 billion. ADB’s Pacific portfolio is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2020.
The Kiribati, Tonga, and Tuvalu country offices will serve as extensions of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office in Fiji.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.