Infrastructure, Finance, Skills Training: ADB Representative
Infrastructure, Finance, Skills Training Priorities for New ADB Representative
Dili, Timor-Leste, 20 March 2013 – Infrastructure improvements and private sector development to drive inclusive economic growth in Timor-Leste will be the main focus for Shane Rosenthal, the new Resident Representative for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“This is a critical time in Timor-Leste’s development, with greater stability and returns on resource extraction providing the platform for deeper development. ADB will continue to closely coordinate its operational activities with those of our development partners and continue our support for regional cooperation and integration,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
Mr. Rosenthal joined ADB in 2004 and has wide experience working in Asia. Most recently he was the Deputy Country Director of ADB’s Mongolia Resident Mission, where he led ADB’s urban development and infrastructure assistance, and initiated public-private partnerships for power generation and urban water.
ADB is helping boost economic opportunities, reconnect communities and reduce poverty in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Timor-Leste through a range of initiatives, including infrastructure development, microfinance assistance, support for private sector development, and skills training.
Work is underway on the $46 million Road Network Development Sector Project, funded by an ADB grant, which will improve more than 108 km of national roads and develop a road maintenance program. The Road Network Upgrading Project, which is financed by the country’s first loans with ADB, will also commence in the near future and will upgrade 59km of national road. The $3 million ‘Our Roads, Our Future’ grant package is funding rehabilitation of about 90 km of rural feeder roads and small-scale infrastructure in roadside villages through community-based works.
In addition, the $6 million Dili Water Supply Project has refurbished parts of the capital’s water supply system, and is being followed by the $11.0million District Capitals Water Supply Project. To support the development of capacity for infrastructure construction and maintenance, ADB is supporting a $12 million mid-level skills training project.
ADB assistance has also helped the Institute of Microfinance Timor-Leste (IMTL) become the country’s first locally-owned commercial bank providing loans to individuals and small businesses in urban and rural areas. The National Commercial Bank of Timor-Leste (BNCTL), as it is now called, has 12 branches across the country. BNCTL has boosted local entrepreneurship, jobs, and investment, with 40% of BNCTL’s loans going to women.
Since Timor-Leste became an ADB member in 2002, it has received six grants from the Trust Fund for East Timor ($52.8 million), five Asian Development Fund (ADF) grants ($85 million), and 41 Technical Assistance (TA) projects ($34.51 million). Four ADF grants ($75 million) and nine TA projects ($19.96 million) are active.
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.
Shane Rosenthal, an Australian national, joined the Asian Development Bank in 2004 as Urban Economist in the East and Central Asia Department (ECRD) where he was responsible for urban sector operations in Azerbaijan and the Kyrgyz Republic. While in ECRD, Mr. Rosenthal served as Vice Chairperson of the ADB’s Staff Council. In 2005, Mr. Rosenthal was assigned to the Central and West Asia Department, where he led ADB’s urban sector work in Pakistan, and developed the Karachi Mega City Development Project and a public-private partnership for urban transit in Lahore.
In 2007 Mr. Rosenthal moved to ADB’s Mongolia Resident Mission as Senior Portfolio Management Specialist. In addition to having oversight of ongoing operations, Mr. Rosenthal led ADB’s growing urban infrastructure assistance to Mongolia and worked with the Government of Mongolia to develop the Southeast Gobi Urban and Border Town Development Project and public private partnerships for power generation and urban services. Mr. Rosenthal was Officer-in-Charge of the Mongolia Resident Mission from January to July 2011, and led the development of the Mongolia Country Partnership Strategy 2012-2016. He became Deputy Country Director in December 2011.
Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Rosenthal worked with the World Bank as a natural resources economist in the Western Africa Department; as environment sector coordinator in the Vietnam Resident Mission; and as a researcher on private sector participation in urban services for the Water and Sanitation Program’s regional offices in India and Indonesia. Mr. Rosenthal also served as the Regional Manager, Indochina, for Fauna and Flora International, an international non-governmental organization.
Mr. Rosenthal holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from The American University in Washington, a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Cambridge.