The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA), a Thai development agency, have signed a partnership arrangement to carry out joint cooperation programs at national and regional levels.
The partnership arrangement was signed in Bangkok by James A. Nugent, Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, and Newin Sinsiri, President of NEDA. The signing was witnessed by Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong and other high-level government officials, according to ADB.
“ADB has worked with and supported Thailand’s increasing role as a regional development partner for over a decade,” said Mr. Nugent. “Given the country’s strategic location and dynamism, we strongly believe that our joint cooperation with NEDA will contribute to sustainable development in the region.”
Under the arrangement, ADB and NEDA will jointly support economic development programs, mainly in Thailand’s neighboring countries, in transport, energy, urban development, development of special economic zones, health and education. The forms of cooperation include cofinancing, knowledge sharing, and capacity development based on common areas of interest and the expertise of each organization, as well as the priority needs of the targeted countries.
“With the same vision to improve economic development, living conditions, and quality of life for people in the region, ADB and NEDA have potential for joint cooperation in many areas,” said Newin Sinsiri, President of NEDA. “The partnership arrangement should be a broad framework for both organizations to work together systematically and effectively.”
ADB and NEDA are currently exploring the possibility of joint development of corridor towns in Myanmar along the GMS East-West Corridor. Supporting the corridor towns to function as nodes of economic activity and growth centers will contribute to the transformation of the GMS East-West Corridor into a full-fledged economic corridor.
ADB has provided more than $6 billion for investment and over $100 million for technical assistance in the GMS over the past 20 years through a wide variety of projects covering subregional roads and transportation links, cross-border energy, tourism infrastructure, and communicable diseases control. Over the past decade, NEDA has provided loans and grants worth more than B14 billion to support infrastructure development and enhance connectivity in neighboring countries.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.