Opening Remarks by ADB President Takehiko Nakao at the ADF Donors Annual Consultation Meeting at the 52nd ADB Annual Meeting on 1 May 2019 in Fiji

Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the annual ADF donors consultation meeting. I would like to welcome the deputies of the ADF donor countries and the representatives from the ADB concessional assistance recipient countries. I am also happy to extend a warm welcome to ADB Board members and representatives from other multilateral institutions, who are here as observers. I also take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Mr. Callaghan who is chairing this meeting.

ADB’s total loan and grant commitments last year were $21.6 billion, compared to $13.9 billion in 2013 when I was appointed President of ADB. Such an expansion became possible thanks to the successful merger of our ordinary capital resources balance sheet and ADF concessional lending operations in 2017. Following this major achievement, our next steps include a strategic discussion on the future of the ADF which is now devoted solely to grants.

The ADF 12 Midterm Review Meeting was held in Manila two months ago. It was an opportunity to start discussing the future of ADF, as well as ADB concessional assistance more generally. I would like to thank the representatives from the ADF donors for the constructive discussions. My team relayed to me the content of these discussions and I highly appreciated the specific and comprehensive comments and inputs by donors.

Today, we are presenting for discussion the main conclusions of a paper analyzing the need for the ADF 13 replenishment covering 2021–2024, with financing scenarios. This paper demonstrates that an ADF 13 replenishment with donor contributions is still required to address the remaining and emerging challenges in the region. In response to the donors’ request for a long-term vision for the ADF, this paper also presents projections until 2028, which would be the end of a potential ADF 14 cycle.

Unfinished development agendas remain and new ones have emerged in Asia and the Pacific. Grants are critical in addressing these challenges in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. We believe that the ADF remains an essential platform.

Our discussions today will set the stage for ADF 13 replenishment negotiations.

One of the important agendas for this year is to consider how to use ADF grants for supporting priorities under Strategy 2030 such as climate change, gender, private sector operations, disaster prevention and management, and regional public goods including regional health security.

Your support for a replenishment of ADF 13 and the Technical Assistance Special Funds 7 will be much needed to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. I look forward to your constructive inputs and discussion to this end.

We are aiming to conclude the ADF 13 replenishment at next year’s annual meeting. To achieve it, we are planning to have the first formal replenishment meeting in Manila on 5–7 November 2019, and the second one also in Manila on 10–12 February 2020.

I will now turn the meeting over to our chair, Mr. Mike Callaghan, who will continue the discussions with you together with the members of my management team present here today. Thank you very much.