President Nakao Emphasizes Potential of Indian Economy
NEW DELHI, INDIA - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao began his three-day visit to India yesterday with a meeting with Finance Minister and ADB Governor P. Chidambaram and two ministers from key central government ministries, exchanged views about the development issues facing India, and discussed the emerging macroeconomic challenges.
It is the first official visit by Mr. Nakao to India after the Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors held in India last May. Department of Economic Affairs Secretary and ADB Alternate Governor Arvind Mayaram also joined the discussions along with M. Mangapati Pallam Raju, Minister for Human Resources Development, and Oscar Fernandes, Minister for Road Transport and Highways.
Today, Mr. Nakao visits Uttarakhand to view the disaster-affected areas in the state and will meet Chief Minister Harish Rawat and other senior officials. There is a signing of new ADB assistance comprising of a $200 million loan for the Uttarakhand Emergency Assistance Project to contribute to rebuilding some of the damaged infrastructure in the June 2013 natural disaster in Uttarakhand.
ADB has supported India by providing 180 sovereign loans amounting to $29.3 billion since the start of its lending operations in India in 1986 until the end of 2013. In addition, ADB has provided $2.4 billion in loans through its non-sovereign window during this period. ADB’s support for India has focused on energy, transport, urban development such as water and sewerage infrastructure, and finance and public sector management.
Mr. Nakao reaffirmed ADB’s continued support for the government’s development agenda, including human resource development through skills development. ADB’s support will be aligned with the Twelfth Five-Year Plan of the Government of India.
During his discussion with the ministers, Mr. Nakao noted the need for ADB to reform its business processes for faster implementation of infrastructure projects. He also mentioned that ADB will expand its support to infrastructure building in India through public-private partnerships, and contribute to connectivity among South Asian countries through enhancing regional cooperation and integration.
Speaking about the emerging macroeconomic issues, Mr. Nakao said ADB remains positive about the strong potential of the Indian economy on the strength of its young and educated population and a growing middle class that supports and sustains a strong domestic demand.
"To harness this potential, India should continue to pursue sound macroeconomic policies and the needed structural reforms,” he said.