Speech by Masatsugu Asakawa, President, Asian Development Bank, at the 14th IMT-GT Summit, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 10 November 2022


Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am honored to join you today for this Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit. I am grateful to the governments of Thailand and Cambodia for the excellent arrangements.

IMT-GT cooperation has played an important role in helping Asia and the Pacific recover from the pandemic and tackle other challenges. ADB is proud of our partnership with IMT-GT since 2006, and we remain committed to supporting the subregion at this critical time.

Priorities for sustainable recovery in IMT-GT

Let me highlight a few ways we can achieve a strong recovery together.

First, there is a critical need to build on initiatives already in place to strengthen connectivity and open markets, cross-border trade and investment, and supply and value chains.

The subregion needs to dedicate resources in these areas to foster economic recovery and growth.

ADB’s recent knowledge work on IMT-GT economic corridors and special economic zones featured recommendations to ease barriers to trade and transport; enhance trade facilitation; attract high quality investments; develop a modern, digitally skilled workforce; and build a competitive business climate.

Second, there is a critical need to ensure that the post-pandemic recovery is sustainable.

ADB will support this through our work on climate change, which includes our ambition to deliver $100 billion in cumulative climate financing to Asia and the Pacific between 2019 and 2030.

Sustainable energy systems are vital to this effort. ADB launched a game-changing Energy Transition Mechanism, ETM, that will be piloted in Indonesia. We are also working with Thailand to develop green bonds and to share knowledge and best practices with other developing member countries.

ADB is also supporting the development of smart and green cities. In Malaysia, we are providing technical assistance to enhance the capacity of city governments to identify viable green investments and to mobilize resources for resilient infrastructure.

Third, ADB is fully committed to working with you to revitalize tourism, which has been heavily affected by the pandemic.

We aim to accelerate recovery and promote an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient tourism sector.

For example, we are supporting local tourism entrepreneurs to adopt digital platforms that can help grow their businesses. And we are strengthening capacity in tourism communications, so that governments can show to the world that the subregion is open, safe, and welcome to visitors.


Let me end by highlighting the IMT-GT Implementation Blueprint 2022-2026, which lays out a solid foundation for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

I know that the firm commitment from your governments, in partnership with ADB, will ensure strong and lasting growth for IMT-GT for many years to come.

ADB has been honored to share this journey with you, and I look forward to our continued cooperation.

Thank you.