The Asian Development Bank (ADB) appreciates Nepal’s serious efforts and recent progress towards concluding the peace and constitution drafting process, said Zhao Xiaoyu, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President of Operations, at the end his two-day visit to the country.
“The conclusion of the challenging peace and political transition process will pave the way for the Government to focus closely on its economic development and reform agendas to put Nepal on a much faster and sustainable growth path. Raising the living standard of the country’s very diverse population is critical to establish lasting peace and stability, and ADB stands ready to support the Government in this regard," said Zhao.
During his meetings with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Minister of Finance Barsha Man Pun and other senior government officials, Zhao appreciated the steady and fast progress in reducing poverty in the recent years. He expressed optimism that Nepal would meet a majority of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, including those on poverty, education, access to clean water supply, and child and maternal mortality. He also expressed ADB’s commitment to working closely with the Government of Nepal and other stakeholders in helping to further reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth for all Nepalis.
Zhao also sought active participation of the Government in formulating ADB’s new Country Partnership Strategy (2013–2017) for Nepal. He said ADB would seek to respond to Nepal's critical development needs, emerging opportunities, and priorities. In this context, he emphasized the need to urgently address infrastructure deficits of power, transport, and water, by establishing enabling policy environment, building capacities, and exploring innovative approaches such as public private partnership. This will stimulate private sector investments, and create much needed employment opportunities. The need for inclusive and sustainable growth for the diverse population of Nepal is also underscored.
Zhao further emphasized the need to expedite implementation of ongoing projects by strengthening institutional capacities and systems, to demonstrate effective aid utilization and draw increased assistance from development partners including ADB.
Zhao also introduced ADB’s new Director General for South Asia Juan Miranda to the Government. Miranda assumed office in April 2012. He oversees the operations of seven divisions within the Department – transport, energy, urban services, financial sector, social development and social services, agriculture and agribusiness and climate change. Prior to this, Miranda was the Director General for Central and West Asia Department. He has a long standing experience in project and corporate finance, with an emphasis on infrastructure, selected public services, and utilities.