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ADB Supports Regional Cooperation

ADB Supports Regional Cooperation to Boost Economic Growth in the Pacific

MANILLA, PHILIPPINES (26 November 2007) – The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) recently approved Pacific Regional Operations Business Plan 2007-2010 targets poverty reduction in ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries through increased cooperation between nations, additional cross-region services and an improved environment for private sector development.

“Support for regional cooperation and integration is important in overcoming fundamental challenges in the Pacific, such as small economies of scale, by providing opportunities to share capacity,” said Philip Erquiaga, Director General, Pacific Department. “ADB’s Pacific Regional Operations Business Plan aligns our assistance with the priorities identified in the Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration.”

The Pacific Plan was endorsed by Forum Leaders at their Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Port Moresby October 2005. As a ‘living document’, it now forms the basis of ongoing strengthening of regional cooperation and integration efforts for the benefit of Pacific people.

Highlights of planned regional assistance outlined in the business plan include support for the creation of a Regional Advisory Service for Infrastructure Regulation, and working with international and regional organizations to develop regional partnerships for climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. The business plan also shows continued support for the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative, education and the Pacific Financial and Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC).

The Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), ADB’s cofinanced partnership with the Australian government’s overseas aid program, and a provision of regional air safety services through the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) are examples of ADB’s ongoing regional assistance.

ADB assistance will be predominantly in the form of regional technical assistance, valued at approximately $3.15 million annually during 2007–2010. Priority lending assistance will support the development of key subregional infrastructure and complementary trade facilitation services along the land borders that Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste share with Indonesia.

The Pacific Regional Operations Business Plan focuses on demonstrating where regional action can add value to country-level objectives. This will be supported by the promotion of dialogue on, and understanding of, regional issues at a national level. The business plan also places emphasis on selectivity in focus, development of effective partnerships and longer-term approaches in line with ADB’s policy on effective engagement in weakly performing countries.

ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries are Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

ENDS

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