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Asia-Pacific can emerge from pandemic stronger by focusing on five areas — ADB president

Asia-Pacific can emerge from pandemic stronger by focusing on five areas — ADB president

05 May 2021

Asia and the Pacific region should emerge stronger from COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on five areas that would help to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable future, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Masatsugu Asakawa said.

These priority areas include placing ambitious climate actions at the centre of development, with an. increased focus on adaptation and resilience, and full commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement, he said.

“(Furthermore, the region should) address inequality, including the gender gap which has worsened during the pandemic, by investing in health, education and social protection,” he told the ADB board of governors at the 54th Annual Meeting held virtually today.

ADB issued a statement on the speech he made at the meeting, where he also noted the need to promote high-quality green and digital infrastructure. This, he said, would enable economies to rebuild smartly while closing the digital gap and attracting substantial private investment.

“(We should also) deepen regional cooperation and integration so that ADB developing member countries can seize opportunities of renewed globalisation and strengthen regional health security,” he said.

Finally, he said, the region also needed to strengthen domestic resource mobilisation.

“(This is to ensure) that governments have the resources they need to finance sustainable growth and respond effectively to future crises,” he said.

Asakawa said the path that ADB had laid out would help lead the region out of these uncertain times.

He expressed confidence that the region would emerge from the current crisis stronger than before.

“Action on these priorities can build on ADB’s response to Covid-19 in 2020 where its total commitments in 2020 reached a record high of US$31.6 billion with just over half supporting operations to respond to the pandemic.

“The balance was committed to address long-term development issues such as the gender equality gap, the impacts of climate change and investments in quality infrastructure,” ADB said in the statement.

Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members of which 49 are from Asia and the Pacific region.

Source: Bernama