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ADB establishes office in Singapore to expand strategic collaboration

05 Mar 2020
1     SINGAPORE (5 MARCH 2020) —Asian Development Bank (ADB) President
Masatsugu Asakawa and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
Heng Swee Keat today officially opened ADB’s new office in Singapore, deepening
efforts to collaborate on some of the most pressing development challenges facing
Asia and the Pacific.

2.     Mr. Asakawa and Mr. Heng agreed that the Singapore office will create even
more avenues to enhance cooperation between ADB and Singapore across the
region including tackling climate change, financing and building quality infrastructure,
pioneering innovation in development operations, and managing urbanization.

3       “Singapore’s sophisticated private and public sector eco-systems will help us
to mobilize investments and bring the latest technologies and management skills to
development projects across the region,” said Mr. Asakawa. “The new office allows
us to work closer with Singapore, leveraging its strengths particularly in infrastructure
and innovation to support our developing member countries.”

4        Mr. Heng said: “Over more than 50 years, ADB has been contributing
substantially and meaningfully to the development of the Asia-Pacific region. To
maintain the region’s growth momentum, ADB has estimated that developing Asia
will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030. Singapore
shares ADB’s assessment that infrastructure is critical to the future development of
Asia - within countries, and across countries for better connectivity. Hence,
Singapore established Infrastructure Asia in 2018 to work with like-minded partners
like ADB. I warmly welcome ADB’s move to establish a presence in Singapore. By
realising synergies with our financial and services ecosystem, ADB can play an even
more substantial role in meeting the region’s immense demand for infrastructure.
Singapore is committed to furthering our partnership with ADB, including through
project development, sharing of best practices and deal brokering, to promote
strong, sustainable and inclusive growth for the region.”

5.        The Singapore Office marks a new stage in the expansion of ADB’s private
sector operations. It will be a lean and focused office comprising 12 specialists from
ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD) and Office of Public-Private
Partnership working in a range of sectors including infrastructure, financial
institutions, agribusiness, health and education, trade finance, private equity, and
cofinancing. The office is led by Ms. Sonali Tang, who has worked at ADB for 5
years in various senior roles.

6         ADB’s private sector operations promote the investment of private capital for
development purposes. Last year, PSOD operations completed 38 transactions,
around one-fifth of ADB’s total operations by number. ADB aims to increase this to
one-third of total operations by 2024. The office will make it easier for ADB to
efficiently engage with clients, project sponsors, contractors, advisors, financiers,
other international finance institutions, and professional service providers.

7        Singapore was a founding member of ADB in 1966. It borrowed from ADB
until 1980 and graduated formally from borrowing in 1998. Since 2001, Singapore
has contributed to ADB’s concessional fund, the Asian Development Fund, as well
as the Technical Assistance Special Fund. In 2012, ADB and Singapore signed a
memorandum of understanding to enhance knowledge sharing and cooperation in
governance and public policy, private sector development, and climate change, and
in infrastructure and urban development. Singapore is also an active participant in
the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund that is supported by ADB.

8 ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and
sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme
poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.