Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will lead the Sri Lankan delegation at the 52nd Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting to be held in Fiji from May 1 to 5.
With over 3,000 delegates expected, the Annual Meeting would be a premier forum to discuss economic and development issues affecting Asia and the Pacific. Participants will get the opportunity to interact with ADB senior management, policy makers, private sector leaders, civil society, and the region’s leading development experts, among others.
The Annual Meeting is the year’s largest gathering of the organization and an annual opportunity for ADB Governors to engage in focused discussion on development issues and challenges facing Asia and the Pacific. The theme of the 2019 Annual Meeting, which also marks the first time a Pacific island country will host the event, is ‘Prosperity Through Unity.’
Among the issues that will be discussed during the event in Nadi are sustainable tourism and its potential to boost national and regional development efforts; the role of private sector financing for disaster risk management and climate resilience in Asia and the Pacific; importance of concerted efforts to improve ocean health; ways to respond to heightening global economic uncertainty; the role of digital technologies for financial inclusion; and new tools for sustainable infrastructure development; among others.
Since 1966, ADB has been a strong partner in the development of Sri Lanka, signing loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $9.7 billion, and making ADB the country’s largest source of multilateral development assistance.
ADB has also planned to commit an average of $800 million annually in sovereign loans to Sir Lanka during 2019–2022. Over the period, the bank’s operations will focus on strengthening drivers of growth by diversifying Sri Lanka’s economy and enhancing productivity, and improving the quality of growth by promoting inclusiveness.
ADB is also committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members wherein 49 are from the region.