MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Government of Luxembourg will make an initial grant of $1.5 million over the next three years for a fund aimed at strengthening regional, subregional, and national financial systems in Asia and the Pacific.

The Financial Sector Development Partnership Fund will finance a program of projects, including technical assistance operations, components of investment projects, and stand-alone grant-financed activities, focusing on the financial sector. The Fund is set up as a multidonor fund, and other donors are welcome to join.

All developing member countries of ADB will be eligible for assistance under the fund, however, activities in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Viet Nam, and Mongolia, as well as regional activities in the Greater Mekong Subregion will be given priority for Luxembourg's assistance.

"This generous contribution from the Government of Luxembourg will play an important role in strengthening financial systems across the region," says Werner Liepach, Principal Director of ADB's Office of Cofinancing Operations.

Eligible activities include promoting regional markets; improving the policy, legal, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks, including corporate governance, internationally recognized standards and codes, financial system stability assessments, and financial sector assessment programs; strengthening and modernizing local financial institutions; and improving access to financial services by the poor.

Activities to improve the general investment climate, such as work to enhance the general legal and regulatory framework, strengthening governance, and boosting administrative procedures, are also eligible.

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