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ADB President reaffirms commitment of further support

Released at: 16:35, 27/06/2018

ADB President reaffirms commitment of further support

Photo: ADB

Mr. Takehiko Nakao meets with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc during GEF Assembly in Da Nang.

by Doanh Doanh

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chairman of the Da Nang City People’s Committee Huynh Duc Tho during the 6th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly being held from June 24 to 28 in Da Nang.

Mr. Nakao, who took part in a panel on Delivering Transformation at the opening session of the GEF Assembly, affirmed that ADB could step up its collaboration with GEF.

“Overall, the proposed GEF programming directions covering climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, international waters, and chemical and waste management are well aligned with ADB’s draft Strategy 2030 priorities for environment and climate change,” Mr. Nakao said. “Working together, ADB and GEF can assist developing countries to transform economies toward sustainability. This can include developing new knowledge and innovative project investments as well as green financing mechanisms to help unlock private sector finance for development.” 

The GEF Assembly - the organization’s highest governing body - meets every four years and is expected to endorse $4.1 billion in financing to support the global environment from 2018 to 2022.

Since 2004 it has approved grants to ADB for 55 projects amounting to $246 million, of which 19 projects have been completed. ADB and GEF are currently partnering to support 36 projects being implemented in 21 countries across Asia and the Pacific, with $178 million in grants from GEF linked to $2.1 billion in financing from ADB.

The two have collaborated on three projects in Vietnam to address climate change, protect biodiversity, and improve the livability of cities. In the Truong Son Mountain Range, the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors project, with a $4.3 million grant from GEF and a $30 million investment from ADB, is supporting local communities to improve their livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and enhance forest management. In Ha Giang, Hue, and Vinh Yen, GEF and ADB are collaborating on “Green City” planning approaches for sustainable and resilient urban development through a $14.2 million grant from GEF and $178 million in financing from ADB.

In 2017, ADB and GEF completed an innovative project to test low-cost bioengineering and other nature-based approaches to address flood risks for rural infrastructure in mountainous areas.

In his meeting with the Prime Minister - who opened the Assembly - Mr. Nakao commended the government on maintaining macroeconomic stability and steering Vietnam’s economic growth to 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2018; the strongest first quarter growth in ten years. Efforts to rein in the fiscal deficit, combined with higher economic growth, have helped reduce the ratio of public debt to GDP.

Mr. Nakao reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to further support Vietnam’s transition to high middle-income status, making available up to $1 billion a year in sovereign loans. ADB will also actively seek to mobilize concessional co-financing and provide high-value adding knowledge products and services, including in the areas of intra-regional and urban transport, agricultural and rural development, poverty reduction, waste water and drainage, and climate change resilience.

During his talks with Mr. Tho, Mr. Nakao discussed ADB’s ongoing support to improve water supply and solid waste management in Da Nang. He also visited the Da Nang Business Incubation Center, which is supported through the Mekong Business Initiative technical assistance, funded by ADB and the Australian Government. The center provides business support services to entrepreneurs, including to promote green technology to address the city’s environmental and traffic congestion challenges.

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