P.M. hails A.D.B’s contribution to the development of Samoa

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has acknowledged the “tremendous” contribution by the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) to the development of Samoa.

Tuilaepa offered the acknowledgement during a meeting with the A.D.B. President Takehiko Nakao on Tuesday, when he was in the country for a three-day visit. He departed yesterday.

Since 1966, the Bank has committed US$354.66 million (T$890m) in loans, grants and technical assistance to Samoa. The money has been spent to improve the delivery of basic social services such as clean water, modern sanitation, reliable energy, better internet connectivity, effective disaster relief, flood mitigation, wastewater infrastructure, drainage projects and much, much more.

 “For more than 50 years, we have worked with A.D.B. and together we have made progress in improving water and sanitation, establishing reliable, clean energy and better internet connectivity,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa said.

 “A.D.B. has also been a tremendous support in times of disaster as we saw in the wake of the tsunami that devastated parts of the country in 2009. 

“We will continue to work with A.D.B. and our other development partners to help deliver better basic social services to the people of Samoa.”  

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa and President Nakao also signed an agreement establishing a permanent A.D.B. office in Samoa.  The office replaces the A.D.B. extended mission in Samoa opened in 2016 to manage the bank’s growing operations in the country.

 “Samoa is a founding member of A.D.B. since 1966 and we have worked in close partnership to address development challenges and create new opportunities in this country,” said Mr. Nakao. “A.D.B. is increasing its support to Samoa and we are committed to helping the government continue to improve access to renewable energy, extend I.C.T. connectivity, and strengthen public sector management.” 

According to a statement released by the Bank, economic growth in Samoa slowed to 0.9% in the fiscal year ending 30 June 2018 following the closure of Yazaki Samoa. 

Growth is expected to rebound in the current fiscal year as visitor arrivals increase and infrastructure investment expands in the lead-up to Samoa’s hosting of the Pacific Games in 2019. 

 “Samoa is well-placed to further expand its tourism industry, which is already a key driver of economic growth and foreign currency earning,” said Mr. Nakao. “It will be important to pursue sustainable tourism, which protect the environment, and ensure local communities to benefit.” 

A.D.B. has supported development of Samoa’s energy sector since the early 1990s. Projects co-financed with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the European Union have installed almost two-thirds of the country’s current generation capacity of 45 megawatts. 

A.D.B., Australia, and the World Bank supported the development and operation of a submarine cable fiber-optic system linking Samoa to Fiji. The Tui Samoa cable, launched in February 2018, will provide cost-effective internet connectivity and facilitate e-health investment.

Future support will continue to focus on economic infrastructure such as power, roads, and ports, as well as public sector management. Total financing from A.D.F. for Samoa, including resources mobilized from A.D.F. funds allocated for regional initiatives could reach $100 million in 2019-2020. In addition, A.D.B. will mobilize co-financing from development partners such as Australia, New Zealand, the Green Climate Fund, and the World Bank.

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