Asian Development Bank

ADB expands presence in Samoa

“ADB’s financing has helped Samoa to achieve development results for the focal sectors it is engaged in,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.“The new ADB Extended Mission will allow us to collectively better respond to the development needs of the people of Samoa.”

ADB encourages Palau to seek bigger spending tourists

The bank said strong economic growth was masking urgent infrastructure and environmental challenges that threaten the long term sustainability of Palau's economy.

In an ADB assessment it warned the rapid growth of low-end tourism could damage Palau's famed natural environment and World Heritage sites.

The bank's Liliana Warid says figures showing GDP growth of 5.3 percent in 2014 and 8.2 percent in 2015 don't capture the risks that increased tourist numbers bring to popular sites.

ADB, Samoa sign agreement to implement fiscal management reforms

Bhimantara Widyajala, Executive Director of ADB’s Board of Directors and representing the Government of Samoa, and Xianbin Yao, Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department, signed the grant for the Samoa Fiscal Resilience Improvement Programme in a ceremony at the ADB headquarters.

“The ADB assistance aims to reduce the vulnerability and boost the resilience of Samoa’s economy to fiscal and climatic shocks,” said Yao at the signing event. 

ADB grant to help improve Kiribati roading

It involved an upgrade and rehabilitation of the road network in South Tarawa.

The project was also being supported by the World Bank and the Government of Australia through the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility.

The ADB grant was to go to the construction of important road network links by adding an extra 7.8 kilometres of paved road and half a kilometre of unpaved road to cover additional areas in Betio and Bairiki linked to the current project.

Photo: Shifani Sood

Improved maritime facilities for Tuvalu outer islands

The Outer Island Maritime Infrastructure Project aims to construct a small harbour on the island of Nukulaelae, and rehabilitate boat ramps on Nanumaga and Niutao.

Most Tuvalu outer islands lack docking facilities for ocean-going ships making it more difficult to transfer passengers and cargo on workboats.

The Financial reported that the $US13.3 million project is geared to develop an overall plan for making shipping to and from the capital safer and more efficient.

ADB lays out Pacific poverty levels

RNZ reports the high cost of living means many people struggle to meet basic needs.

The ADB points out that there is also a lack of access to basic infrastructure, services and utilities and low levels of employment or income generating opportunities.

Of 14 Pacific countries the Marshall Islands population is the most poor, with just over half its people living below the national poverty line.

Tonga's closest neighbours, Fiji, has 31% of its population living below the poverty line and Samoa 26.9%.

Vanuatu has the lowest poverty statistics at 12.7%.

Commercial reforms needed to boost Pacific State - owned enterprises - ADB

Advance copies of Finding Balance 2016, the latest edition of ADB’s landmark assessment of Pacific SOEs’ performance, were shared at the Pacific Update Conference at the University of South Pacific, Fiji.

The report finds SOE portfolios in the eight Pacific countries examined contributed only 1.8% to 12% to gross domestic product, despite their very large asset base, ongoing government cash transfers, and monopoly market positions. It also finds productivity levels of the SOEs tend to be well below developed country benchmarks.                                             

ADB signs Trade Finance Programme with 2 Samoan banks

The agreements will see the TFP provide up to $12 million annually to support trade activity in Samoa.

 “It’s the first agreement of its type and I’m congratulating Samoa for taking the lead with this project and facilitating the development and the finalization of the agreement,” said Minister of Finance Sili Epa.

ADB boosting access to clean, renewable energy in Pacific - report

“ADB is the largest investor in renewable energy in the Pacific, which is still heavily reliant on diesel for power generation,” said Michael Trainor, Energy Specialist in ADB’s Pacific Department. “We are working with governments and communities to improve the quantity and quality of energy services across the region by ramping up support for the transition to renewable energy.”

ADB approves $2m grant for Tuvalu reforms

The country relies on unpredictable and volatile revenue sources, such as fishing fees, licensing fees for its ".tv" internet domain, and development assistance, making fiscal sustainability a challenge.

The bank's director for the Pacific Subregional Office, Robert Jauncey, says the policy reform programme hopes to promote public procurement policies and regulations to address these challenges.

The government hopes to support public enterprise reforms and maximise government efficiency and transparency.