Asian Development Bank expands presence in Samoa

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MISSION EXTENSION: Board Members of the Asian Development Bank with the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi last evening.

MISSION EXTENSION: Board Members of the Asian Development Bank with the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi last evening.

A six-member delegation from the Asian Development Bank’s (A.D.B) Board of Directors joined the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to inaugurate A.D.B’s new Extended Mission in Samoa yesterday evening.

The Mission is located at the Central Bank of Samoa building. 

“A.D.B’s financing has helped Samoa to achieve development results for the focal sectors it is engaged in,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. 

“The new A.D.B Extended Mission will allow us to collectively better respond to the development needs of the people of Samoa.”

In establishing their extended presence in Samoa, A.D.B and the World Bank Group are reaffirming their commitment to the country. 

The office marks the deepening relationship between both multilateral banks with the government of Samoa. 

It will better enable the banks to bring their collective international experiences to bear fruit, provide more effective support and responsiveness on the ground, and maintain regular and close dialogue with the government, civil society, project beneficiaries, and other stakeholders on development issues.

The A.D.B Extended Mission for Samoa assists the government in implementing its development strategy until 2020. 

The strategy, titled Accelerating Sustainable Development and Broadening Opportunities for All, through activities outlined in A.D.B's Pacific Approach will focus on energy, information and communication technology (ICT), agribusiness, and public sector management.

 “In the past 50 years, A.D.B has provided Samoa — a founding member of the bank — $300 million to help the country achieve its development goals,” Michael Strauss, Alternate Executive Director from A.D.B’s Board of Directors, said at the event. 

“In the next four years, A.D.B anticipates scaling up its activities, providing a further $90 million to Samoa, as well as mobilizing grant resources from global climate funds.”

A.D.B is working with the government of Samoa to prepare for a renewable energy future by helping reduce the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels for power generation by providing clean and reliable electricity. 

This is on top of the bank’s partnership with the government and its development partners — particularly the World Bank — to boost connectivity with I.C.Ts. The cofinanced Samoa Submarine Cable Project aims to enhance low-cost broadband services to Samoa, strengthen the regulatory and legal environment for ICT, and facilitate e-health investment in Samoa.

A.D.B is helping strengthen Samoa’s fiscal resilience and improve macroeconomic stability. ADB also supports the private sector by helping public enterprises perform better, strengthening the enabling environment for business, and expanding access to financial services for farmers and business owners. 

A.D.B has been working with the Government of Samoa since 1966 and has approved $186.19 million in loans, $122.97 million in Asian Development Fund grants, and $31.31 million in technical assistance.

The Samoa Extended Mission joins the A.D.B Development Coordination Offices in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu, as well as the other Extended Missions in Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. It also joins the A.D.B country offices in Sydney, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste in boosting ADB’s field presence to facilitate aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the Pacific region.

The Head of A.D.B’s Extended Mission in Samoa is Maria Melei.

A.D.B, 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, A.D.B is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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