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Posts Tagged ‘ADB’

ADB: 3 nations to get additional $49 mln to fight tropical diseases

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:53 am

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending US$49 million to expand surveillance response systems to help control dengue outbreaks, and prevent the spread of communicable and tropical diseases in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the bank announced Tuesday.

“Preventing these diseases requires better local participation and much more intensive regional cooperation,” Vincent de Wit, who leads health professional in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in the announcement.

SGGP file – Volunteers clean up a canal in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12 during a 2009 summer campaign designed to clean up the environment.

The bank added that the Second Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Regional Communicable Diseases Control Project, which is an offshoot of the first GMS Regional Communicable Diseases Control Project, would also target improvements in the capacity of health services and communities involved in disease control in border districts of the three countries.

The community-based communicable disease control systems funded by the project are aimed at around 1.7 million people living in 116 border districts. About one-third of the population in the target areas belong to ethnic minority groups, according to the Philippines-based lender.

ADB said the new project would build on earlier successes, from the earlier GMS Regional Communicable Diseases Control Project, to strengthen surveillance and response mechanisms.

Financing will come from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund with a loan of US$27 million for Vietnam and grants of $10 million for Cambodia and $12 million for Laos. The three countries will provide counterpart support totaling US$5 million equivalent, said ADB.

The Ministry of Health in each country will be the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion in June 2016. The regional coordination unit will be based in Vientiane of Laos.

Source: SGGP

PM Dung meets New Zealand, Indian PMs, ADB leader

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Asia must avoid ‘distortions’ in handling hot money: ADB

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Developing Asian nations must carefully manage a massive inflow of foreign capital and avoid remedies that could create destabilising “distortions”, the Asian Development Bank chief warned Saturday.

Haruhiko Kuroda told Asian leaders at a summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi that capital flows are one of two risks that regional economies face as they rebound from the global downturn that began in 2008.

His comments came shortly before the US Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will go into a second round of quantitative easing, injecting more money into the banking system to further stimulate the world’s biggest economy.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard ahead of a bilateral meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

The first risk is that the recovery in the developed economies could falter, Kuroda told presidents, prime ministers and a sultan, as well as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russian foreign minister.

“The second risk is capital flows, which could complicate macroeconomic management,” Kuroda said in a prepared speech made available to journalists.

“We must be prepared,” he told his audience, which also included Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Referring to Asian economies outpacing growth in the developed world, Kuroda said “faster growth and higher yields can draw excessive — and potentially volatile — capital flows into the region”.

“Authorities are watching asset prices and exchange rates carefully, with several beginning to use well-targeted capital controls to limit speculation,” he said.

“Care must be taken, however, not to create distortions.”

Hammered by the financial turmoil that began in 2008, the United States, Japan and Europe are moving to weaken or cap their currencies in a bid to make their exports more competitive in the global market.

They have also injected more money into their banking systems to stimulate growth, with the Fed expected to announced a second round of quantitative easing when it meets from Tuesday to Wednesday.

But because growth in the developed world is anaemic and unemployment high, a large chunk of the money is heading to emerging markets, including in Asia, where it stands to gain better yields.

According to the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), net private capital flows to emerging economies are projected to reach 825 billion dollars this year, or more than two billion dollars a day, up from 581 billion dollars in 2009.

The massive inflow has nudged most Asian currencies higher, making their exports more expensive on the global market as the US allows the dollar to weaken and China keeps a tight rein on the yuan.

The influx has also led to steep gains in stocks and property prices, which have stoked fears of “bubbles” which could later burst if the money is withdrawn quickly, and prompted individual central banks to act to cool down their markets.

Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is attending the Hanoi meetings, called for cooperation among developing states to fight the impact of the currency tensions.

“Our concerns as small countries is when the pendulum swings the other way around. What would happen to us — and really this is something that we need to address as a group and not as a single country,” he told reporters on Friday.

The IIF in a research note released in October urged policymakers to be careful about the international and domestic impact of the actions they take on their currencies.

A disorderly adjustment can cause “renewed strains in global financial markets and, possibly, igniting policy tensions and, possibly, protectionist measures between key economies,” it warned.

Source: SGGP

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pointed out a need for regional cooperation in monetary and financial issues, particularly to deal with the issues of multiple currencies within domestic economies.

The region’s biggest development bank made the statement in the latest study, which was published on October 15. 

The study, Dealing with Multiple Currencies in Transitional Economies: the Scope for Cooperation in Cambodia , Laos , and Vietnam , is a pioneering work on the multiple-currency phenomenon with important recommendations for promoting regional monetary and financial cooperation. 

In the three target countries, other countries’ currencies, particulary the US dollar, are found in broad use. The share of foreign currencies ranges from around 20 percent of all currency in circulation in Vietnam , about 50 percent in Laos , and more than 90 percent in Cambodia . 

In this regard, the ADB Country Director for Vietnam , Ayumi Konishi, recognised progress made by the country in de-dollarisation. 

“Yet, authorities, especially the State Bank of Vietnam , are fully aware that administrative measures alone cannot be effective”, said the ADB residential chief. 

He explained that in order to de-dollarise the Vietnamese economy, it is essential to enhance people’s confidence in Vietnamese dong through sustainable and high economic growth, stabilisation of the foreign exchange rate, reforms in monetary policies, and strengthening of the capacity of financial institutions. 

Jayant Menon, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, a co-editor of the study, remarked “Dollarisation blunts the tools for macroeconomic stabilisation, especially monetary and exchange rate policy, that a country like Vietnam needs in order to tackle a variety of economic and developmental challenges, such as rising inflation”. 

He warned Vietnam , where the US dollar makes up 20 percent of the total money circulation, for its partial dollarisation which may lead to some limitations especially in deploying policies for macroeconomic stabilisation. 

Solutions such as official dollarisation, compulsory de-dollarisation and mono currency are all infeasible, said the ADB expert. 

Experts recommended three solutions, including the short-term solution which highlights strengthening the momentum for depositing savings in the Vietnamese dong instead of the US dollar or gold. They also urged banks to encourage long-term saving deposits in the Vietnamese dong and reduce sudden changes or any instability in the short-term saving deposit interest rates.

Their recommendations for a medium-term solution included a currency-bound mechanism and reserving the right to mould or print currency. 

For a long-term solution, experts recommended the economy be prepared for the de-dollarisation process, building financial institutions and speeding up reforms in the State-owned enterprise sector for sustainable development. 

The other co-editor of the study, Giovanni Capannelli, Principal Economist in the ADB Institute, urged monetary authorities of Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam to share information and experiences in order to find a solution to the dollarisation issue. 

“The three countries have a lot to gain from closer cooperation, both among themselves and with the rest of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations”, said the ADB expert. 

ADB, based in Manila , is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 

In 2009, it approved a total of US$16.1 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, guarantees, a trade finance facilitation programme, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. 

Vietnam will host ADB’s 44th annual meeting in Hanoi in May 2011.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

ADB raises Vietnam’s economic forecast to 6.7 pct

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

ADB raises Vietnam’s economic forecast to 6.7 pct

QĐND – Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 20:54 (GMT+7)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) increased Vietnam’s economic growth forecast for 2010 from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent while lowering the inflation projection to 8.5 percent.

In its Asian Development Outlook 2010 Update (ADO Update) released in Hanoi on Sept. 28, ADB also revised upward Vietnam’s GDP growth to 7 percent in 2011 from its April forecast of 6.8 percent.

“Vietnam has consolidated its macroeconomic stability, and as a result we are making upward adjustments in our growth forecast for both 2010 and 2011, while lowering the projections for inflation,” said Ayumi Konishi, ADB Country Director for Vietnam.

According to ADB Senior Expert Lei Lei Song, Vietnam is performing well in the context of the global crisis.

“The shift from strong fiscal and monetary stimulus implemented during the global recession to a more balanced policy stance helped to stabilise financial and economic conditions and, together with the global economic recovery, paved the way for solid economic growth this year,” he said.

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam’s GDP growth rate reached 6.5 percent in the first nine months of 2010.

Vietnam’s neighbouring economies, such as China, continue their robust growth next year, which will help Vietnam ’s economy grow, Song added.

China’s robust growth will demand more Vietnamese exports, contributing to the Southeast Asian country’s growth, he said.

Vietnam’s exports to China will continue to surge in the future, according to the senior expert.

Director Konishi said as Vietnam is a low-middle-income country in the next ten years, the country will have to face different challenges, including how to raise the efficiency of the economy.

One of the issues Vietnam should focus on in its economic development strategy for the next 10 years is to identify its role in the ASEAN bloc, he said, suggesting the country produce higher value products in its efforts to speed up national industrialisation and modernisation.

He also recommended that Vietnam pay attention to taking measures to narrow income gap in its development plan and attach environment protection to development.

According to Yumiko Tamura, ADB Principle Country Specialist, who is also Country Deputy Country Director, developing Asia countries, including Vietnam, are recovering with speed and vigour.

ADB forecast that these countries will see average growths of 8.2 percent in 2010 and 7.3 percent in 2011.

Source: VNA

Photo: VOV

Source: QDND

VN getting $70 mln loans from ADB to improve vocational training

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday it was providing US$70 million in loans for a Vietnam working skill enhancement project to improve vocational training in priority industries.

The project will fund training programs in public and private vocational colleges in automotive technology, electrical and mechanical manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, information and communication technology, and navigation and shipping industries, all of which currently lack sufficient skilled workers, the Manila-based bank said.

This file photo shows a university graduation ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City. The Asian Development Bank says it is providing US$70 million in loans for a working skill enhancement project in Vietnam. (Photo: Thuy Nguyen)

Around 24,000 students are expected to benefit from the program, with about 25% of them women and members of ethnic minority groups, according to the lender.

“Vietnam’s long-term prosperity and development depends on its increasing competitiveness in regional and global markets, and if it is to expand as an industrialized country, it must develop highly skilled industrial workers,” Wendy Duncan, principal education specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in this Friday statement.

The project will provide management and instructor training to upgrade skills and improve planning and allocation of resources, and will also help develop new curricula and training materials, with support from the industries, according to ADB.

The lender said credit would be also made available to approved private colleges to upgrade their equipment and facilities, with institutions expected to borrow up to US$3 million to US$4 million each.

The project aims to address gender inequity by including programs in information and communication technology, hospitality and tourism where females are well represented.

These $70 million loans come from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund. The bank’s assistance includes a regular ADF of $50 million equivalent with a 32-year term and grace period of 8 years, with annual interest of 1% per annum during the grace period, and 1.5% for the balance of the term.

A second 32-year loan of $20 million will be made available for on-lending to private vocational colleges, with an annual interest charge of 2.22% per annum.

The Vietnamese Government will contribute US$8 million for a total project cost of $78 million, ADB said.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will be the executing agency for the project which is expected to be completed by August 2015.

Source: SGGP

ADB agrees $60 mln loans to help Vietnam improve healthcare

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it approved on Tuesday US$60 million in loans for Vietnam to help the country improve its health services.

The lender said the loans are for the Vietnam Health Human Resources Sector Development Program, which is co-financed with an US$11 million grant from the Government of Australia.

ADB said the program gives priorities to poor, remote communities which lack skilled workers and quality health facilities.

(File) A doctor (R) examines an old woman in the southern province of Tay Ninh (Photo: Tay Ninh Red Cross website)

“The program will improve health care services for the poor in remote communities by strengthening the capacity of health facilities, training institutions and health workers to serve their special needs,” Sjoerd Postma, senior health specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in Tuesday’s statement.

The bank said a US$30 million program loan will support reforms such as the Law on Examination and Treatment to govern the operation of health facilities and the registration and practice of health professionals; a new plan to upgrade teaching institutions; and the adoption of new models for costing and managing service delivery in district hospitals.

Another US$30 million project loan will support investments linked to planned policy actions in key sector institutions.

Both loans are from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund.

ADB said it has financed six health projects in Vietnam, but this is the first sector development program.

“The program approach gives ADB an opportunity to support policy reforms with accompanying investments to address critical quality, efficiency and human resource constraints,” the bank said.

The Ministry of Health is the executing agency for the program and associated project, which is expected to be completed by end December 2015.

Source: SGGP

ADB forecasts ‘robust recovery’ for developing Asia

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:35 am

Developing Asia’s economies were on track for a “robust recovery”, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday, with India and China working as the engines of growth.

However, it warned that the region could still be at risk if stimulus measures introduced to counter the global downturn were removed too soon or if the world economy suffered any further jolts.

The bank said developing Asia would grow 7.5 percent this year — outpacing the 5.2 percent seen in 2009 — although this would slow slightly to 7.3 percent in 2011.

The forecast is still below the region’s record 9.6 percent expansion seen in 2007.

“Developing Asia’s recovery has taken firm hold and a return to stronger and sustainable growth is now in sight if the region can meet the challenge of strengthening domestic demand,” said ADB Chief Economist Jong-Wha Lee.

The region’s prospects improved after better-than-expected growth in the second half of 2009, a boost driven by the “strong performances” of the Chinese and Indian economies, the bank said.

“(The region) can look ahead to a robust recovery in the next two years,” the bank said.

Fiscal stimulus measures designed to counter the global financial meltdown will likely continue to lure foreign investment, while rising incomes and lower unemployment should get consumers spending more, it added.

That spending will likely boost inflation to about four percent this year and again in 2011, up from 1.5 percent in 2009, the bank said.

However it said: “There is concern that as stimulus measures are unwound, particularly in the major economies, the strength of private demand is not healthy enough to take over.”

Lee told a press conference in Hong Kong that appreciation of the Chinese yuan could support the stability of the region’s economy and curb inflationary pressure.

“Maybe this is the right time to increase the exchange rate (of the yuan). Increasing the exchange rate flexibility will not only help China, but also the region as a whole,” he said.

The bank is also concerned that the region’s early recovery is “already attracting potentially volatile capital flows, complicating macroeconomic management.”

“We are concerned that the increase in asset prices in Hong Kong and China will spread to other countries in the region. That will be very risky,” Lee said.

Rising food prices, which disproportionately affect the poor, also pose a risk, the ADB said.

The report warned that government policy makers must steer their countries through an uncertain environment with a “timely return to sound and responsible fiscal and monetary policies“.

“These served the region well when the crisis broke, and authorities need to adapt them appropriately as recovery takes hold and the crisis recedes,” it said.

East Asia — including Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Taiwan — is forecast to lead the region with an 8.3 percent rise in gross domestic product in 2010, up from 5.9 percent in 2009, the report said.

Southeast Asian economies will grow 5.1 percent this year, from 1.2 percent in 2009, as countries including Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia see an upswing in exports, the bank said.

India will lead South Asia‘s 7.4 percent GDP increase this year, the bank said, up from a 6.5 percent rise in 2009.

Central Asia, including Kazakhstan and Georgia, will see 4.7 percent economic growth compared with 2.7 percent last year, the bank said.

Pacific island nations, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea, are expected to see their economies expand 3.7 percent in 2010, outpacing a 2.3 percent rise last year, the report said.

The Manila-based lender’s annual report looks at 44 jurisdictions stretching from the former Soviet states of Central Asia to some Pacific islands, but excludes developed countries such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: SGGP

Indian economy set to accelerate in 2010: ADB

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

 India‘s economic rebound from the global financial crisis will gain pace in 2010, but inflationary pressures will require special attention, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday.

India’s economy will grow by 8.2 percent in 2010, the Manila-based bank said in its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2010.

“The outlook is for a return of high growth,” said ADB chief economist Jong-Wha Lee, releasing the report.

This, however, will require “apt handling of macroeconomic policies, and to sustain long-term growth it will be essential to address infrastructure bottlenecks and to reform agriculture.”

Swift fiscal and monetary stimulus, an improving global environment, the return of investor risk appetite and big capital inflows combined to help the economy grow a government-estimated 7.2 percent in 2009, up from 6.7 percent in 2008.

India’s government now is gradually winding back expansionary fiscal and monetary policies as the rebound gains traction and inflation threatens to breach 10 percent.

“As recovery becomes stronger, authorities need to watch out for rising inflation pressures in consumer and asset prices, and implement regulatory intervention as needed,” Lee said.

The central bank raised short-term borrowing rates by a quarter point last month and is expected to hike them by a similar amount next week at its next policy-setting meeting.

While trade flows have yet to return to levels seen before the global financial crisis, higher private consumption and investment should underpin growth over the next two years, the report says.

The ADB estimated growth at 8.7 percent in 2011, slightly below the Indian government’s forecast of nine percent — the level seen before the global economy went into a tailspin.

But clouding India’s recovery outlook is a surge in food prices following a poor summer monsoon last year and floods, as well as expectations of increased fuel prices this year and next, the bank said.

In addition, a weak agriculture sector and infrastructure bottlenecks remain hindrances to longer-term growth. Overall inflation for 2010 is seen at five percent, rising to 5.5 percent in 2011.

To counter rising food prices and to boost farm output, which shrank around 0.2 percent in 2009, the government will need to boost farm gate prices and address distribution constraints, the bank said.

More government spending on improving India‘s battered infrastructure is also required as well as more public-private investment partnerships to get such projects started, the bank advised.

India’s dilapidated ports, roads, airports and other facilities are widely seen as big hurdles to growth.

Source: SGGP

Economic crisis a ‘wake-up call’ for Asia: ADB

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 at 3:58 am

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2010 (AFP) – The global economic crisis should serve as a “wake-up call” for Asia to commit to reforms including an expansion of the social safety net, an executive at the Asian Development Bank says.

The Manila-based lender says that even though the region is recovering at a faster pace than expected, some 57 million people will remain stuck in poverty who otherwise would have emerged out of it in 2010.

“The impact of the crisis, purely on economic terms, I think we’ve weathered quite well and we’re coming out of it, but the social impacts have been quite severe,” said Rajat Nag, the managing director general of the bank.

“I think this is a wake-up call to make some fairly important structural reforms in Asia,” Nag told AFP on a visit to Washington on Monday.

He said that Asia’s developing economies should move to draw down their heavy reliance on exports to the United States, Europe and Japan and instead look to boost domestic consumption.

“In Asia, the export growth model served us very well throughout the last three decades. It’s time to revisit that,” he said. “Rebalancing growth in Asia really means that Asia has to become a consumer and not just a producer.”

Such consumption can be stimulated by stepping up regional trade — or persuading Asians to be more liberal with their money. Asians on average save around 30 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP), well above other regions.

Savings “will not come down just by our talking about rebalancing growth. It will come down if we can offer a credible social protection network,” Nag said.

While several of the more advanced economies have set up wide-ranging health care systems, most Asians tend to save as an insurance against hardships.

The Asian Development Bank is expected next month to raise its 2010 growth projections for the second time.

In December, it said that the region would grow at 6.6 percent this year. The bank’s estimates do not cover Japan, a highly developed economy and key contributor to the lending institution.

But Nag counseled caution on lifting stimulus measures, which many economies took after the economic crisis erupted in 2008 with the implosion of the US housing market.

“The recovery is less than robust but more than fragile,” Nag said. “We think the fiscal stimulus measures should stay in place for a while yet.”

Nag said that China and India would help lead the way with strong growth. Newly industrialized economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan — which took severe blows due to the downturn in exports — are also all expected to be in positive territory.

He said that Indonesia and Vietnam were also faring well. Vietnam is one of the few Asian nations with serious worries about inflation, leading it to devalue its dong twice since late 2009.

Nag did not expect any downgrade for Thailand, saying that there were no signs that foreign investors were fleeing the kingdom during its latest bout of political chaos.

Source: SGGP