The Daily Manila Shimbun


ADB operations reached record $31.5 billon in 2016  

January 9, 2017

Operations by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reached an all-time high of $31.5 billion in 2016, up 17 percent from 2015, a bank statement, citing preliminary figures, said Monday.

The Manila-based bank said approvals of ADB loans, grants, technical assistance, and co-financing have been growing steadily over the years as development needs in the region continue to rise.

Total disbursements of ADB loans and grants reached $12.5 billion in 2016 — the highest ever. “This strong performance is tied to the reforms ADB has implemented to fast track procurement and implementation processes,” the bank.

“The increase in our development financing to Asia and the Pacific is reflective of our strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving people’s lives in the region,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.

“As ADB celebrates 50 years of development partnership with its member countries, we will strive to remain the region’s premiere development bank by providing financing, knowledge, and partnership.”

“Asia is growing at a steady pace, but more needs to be done to achieve development that is both sustainable and inclusive,”  Nakao added.

The region faces many challenges such as implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, increasing inequality, rapid urbanization, aging, and disaster risk management.

Approvals of loans and grants for sovereign (government) and non-sovereign (primarily the private sector) operations by ADB itself reached a record $17.5 billion — a nine  percent increase from $16.0 billion in 2015.

Non-concessional loans from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) amounted to $14.4 billion. Concessional loans and grants from the Asian Development Fund (ADF) reached $3.1 billion, with $2.6 billion going to loans and $518 million to grants.

Technical assistance increased by around 20 percent to $170 million from 2015’s $141 million figure.

The bank said  its strong showing was based on larger financing capacity from anticipated merger of its  two main financial instruments — ADF and OCR — which formally took effect on  January 1. With this innovative reform, ADB’s annual approvals of loans and grants will increase up to $20 billion by 2020.

For 2017-2020, a successful ADF replenishment, concluded in May 2016, will allow ADB to substantially increase support to the region’s poorest countries. The replenished ADF will also enable ADB to provide grant resources for disaster risk management and regional health initiatives.

Co-financing also expanded to $13.9 billion in 2016 from $10.7 billion in 2015, a growth of 29 percent. This is on the back of ADB’s  partnerships and collaboration with various development stakeholders in the Asia and Pacific region. DMS