SUVA, FIJI – A new joint Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) study launched in Suva today, outlines ways in which the Pacific region can do more to tap opportunities arising from strong economic growth in Asia.

The publication, Pacific Opportunities: Leveraging Asia’s Growth, was launched by ADBI Dean, Naoyuki Yoshino, and ADB Pacific Department Director, Emma Veve. 

“To intensify economic links with Asia, especially in tourism and fisheries, greater emphasis should be placed on the quality of education and skills development in order for the Pacific to upgrade its competitiveness,” Mr. Yoshino said. “Targeted infrastructure investments, in areas such as transportation or information and communication technologies, are also needed to support industries with growth potential.”  

The study stressed that the two regions have drawn closer over the past two decades, with trade  expanding tenfold between 2000 and 2012. However, the potential benefits to the Pacific from stronger ties have yet to be fully realized.

“The Pacific region must do more to encourage innovation to generate wealth by finding new ways of adding value to their land, labor, and natural resources,” said Ms. Veve at today’s launch.

The study notes that Asia offers significant further potential as a market for Pacific goods, as a source of investment, and as a labor market. Asia’s fast growing middle class is also increasingly travelling overseas, with demand expected to increase significantly for Pacific destinations in coming years.
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. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

ADBI, located in Tokyo, is the think tank of ADB. ADBI’s mission is to identify effective development strategies and improve development management in ADB’s developing member countries. ADBI has an extensive network of partners in the Asia and Pacific region, and globally.

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