ADB strengthens Samoa ties

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 13 February 2024, 7:00PM

The Asian Development Bank has committed 147 public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $484.3 million to Samoa since 1966.

Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Samoa from the ADB amount to $320.61 million. This was revealed at the opening of ADB’s first-ever Samoa office in Apia on Tuesday.

The new office looks to boost its responsiveness to the development needs of Samoa country and will bolster the already strong working relationship with the government as ADB's Pacific Country Office in Apia was officially opened on Tuesday morning.

This signals more collaboration and future infrastructure projects between Samoa and the ADB.

The event was marked by esteemed dignitaries including the Minister of Finance, Lautimuia Uelese Va'ai, and ADB Vice President Scott Morris, who delivered the keynote address, emphasising the pivotal role of this development in fostering socio-economic growth in the region.

The ceremony was attended by a diverse array of stakeholders, including government officials, development partners, civil society representatives, and members of the local community, underscoring the broad-based support for strengthening ties between Samoa and the ADB.

Established nearly six decades ago, the relationship between Samoa and the ADB has steadily evolved, reflecting the shared commitment towards sustainable development and prosperity.


The inauguration of the Pacific Country Office amplified the ADB's presence in Samoa and reinforced its dedication to supporting the nation's development agenda.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Finance Lautimuia Uelese Va'ai expressed his gratitude towards the ADB for its unwavering support over the years, emphasising the pivotal role the institution played in advancing Samoa's development objectives.

He highlighted the importance of the new office as a platform for enhanced cooperation, enabling more targeted and effective assistance in critical areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, and climate resilience.

"The Samoa office deepens our partnership with ADB and allows us to be more responsive to the development needs of the Samoan people,” said Lautimuia.

“We look forward to continuing support from ADB particularly in the areas of renewable energy, land and maritime transport, health, and disaster resilience.”

ADB Vice President Scott Morris reaffirmed the institution's commitment to working hand in hand with Samoa to address pressing development challenges and capitalise on emerging opportunities.

“For almost 60 years, ADB has been assisting Samoa to achieve its development goals,” said Mr. Morris.

Looking ahead, the newly inaugurated Pacific Country Office is poised to serve as a hub for innovation, knowledge exchange, and capacity-building, empowering Samoa to overcome development challenges and seize new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

ADB’s work with Samoa focuses on infrastructure development and policy reforms, strengthening its climate resilience and supporting private enterprises. ADB’s Samoa PCO plays an integral role in this work.

According to a press statement provided to the local media, it highlighted that Samoa was a founding member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 1966 and to date, ADB has committed 147 public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $484.3 million to Samoa.


"Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Samoa amount to $320.61 million. These were financed by concessional ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund, and other special funds.

"Maria Melei is the Senior Country Officer of ADB’s Samoa PCO. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region."


By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 13 February 2024, 7:00PM
Samoa Observer

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