National Reconciliation Key in Myanmar’s Development: ADB

While most of the Japanese people are enjoying five days of Golden Week holidays, areas around Pacifico Yokohama have been busy with people from around the world on business.

More than 3000 people from across the globe have been busy attending seminars and meetings on the 50th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

High ranking government officials, delegates, scholars and business organisations of ADB’s 67 members have gathered in several meetings for the May 4-7 event.

The presence of more than 400 journalists was the highest ever for the bank’s annual meeting.

ADB’s President Mr Takehiko Nakao held a press conference on May 4.

He said national reconciliation and ethnic people were the key issues for the development of Myanmar.

Increasing need for infrastructure in Asia and the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) were among the topics Mr Nakao mentioned in the briefing.

ADB has estimated Asia requires about US$26 trillion in infrastructure investment from 2016 to 2030 or $1.7 trillion a year, and if Asia wants to grow, it has to eradicate poverty and respond to climate change.

Mr Nakao said the media had quite often mentioned the Chinese-led bank as a competitor which in fact was not true.

He said both the World Bank and the AIIB were partners and not rivals as there was a huge need for financing in infrastructure.

Mr Nakao said although ADB has made achievements, more needs to be done to turn it into a more efficient bank.

Meanwhile, Mr Yasuyuki Sawada, chief economist of ADB, was quoted as saying to the Japan Times that the economic prospects in Asia continue to remain bright, despite slowing growth in China.

In an interview with The Myanmar Times, Mr Sawada said Myanmar’s economic growth is very strong.

“If the economic growth is 6.4 percent, the income will double in 14 years,” he said on the eve of the 50th annual meeting of the ADB.

Myanmar’s GDP growth slowed to 6.4pc last year from 7.3pc the previous year, according to Asian Development Outlook 2017 for Myanmar report released on April 6.

Inflation has eased but the current account deficit has worsened. With firm recovery in the major industrial economies, growth should accelerate this year and the next, the report added.

The report also mentioned consolidating legal and regulatory framework is crucial to develop a vibrant private sector and tap Myanmar’s huge growth potential.

It further stated that export prospects have improved with the lifting of sanctions from the US in October of last year.

Economic performance should improve with GDP growth at 7.7pc in 2017 and 8.0pc in 2018, the report said.


Source: The Myanmar Times

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