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Second Reading Speech By DPM/ Minister For Finance Lee Hsien Loong On The International Development Association Bill 2002 at The Parliament, 8 Jul 2002

09 Jul 2002

Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time".

2 The Bill before the House seeks to enable Singapore to become a member of the International Development Association (IDA). IDA was established in 1960 as an integral part of the World Bank Group to provide long-term loans at zero interest to the poorest of developing countries which have little or no access to market financing. IDA's lending helps to build the human capital, infrastructure, institutions and policies that developing countries need to achieve sustainable economic growth. IDA is funded largely by contributions from the governments of member countries. There are 162 IDA member countries today out of 183 World Bank members. This Bill paves the way for Singapore to join the 88% of World Bank members already in IDA.

3 Singapore is already a member of the four other institutions under the World Bank Group, namely, the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the International Centre of Settlement of Investment Disputes. IDA is a key multilateral development assistance institution and our membership is simply doing what is expected of us as a responsible member of the family of nations.

4 IDA lending supports US$1.5-2.0bn worth of development projects in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific annually. This helps promote growth and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore's participation in IDA will also enable our companies and consultants to share their expertise through IDA-financed projects.

5 Singapore's IDA membership subscription is US$410,159. Section 4 of the Bill provides for this sum to be charged to the Consolidated Fund and for Singapore to subscribe to future increases in authorised capital provided that the total subscription does not exceed US$1 million.

6 Sir, I beg to move.

8 Jul 2002