The FINANCIAL — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with France’s Minister of State, attached to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Delphine Geny-Stephann and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Financial Affairs and Development of the French Treasury Cyril Rousseau.
They talked about collaboration between France and ADB and some strategic issues, such as advancing climate actions, mobilizing private resources to fill the infrastructure gap, supporting countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and ways to continue engagement with upper middle-income countries.
“France has been a strong partner to ADB for almost 50 years and we appreciate its leadership in promoting sustainable development and combating climate change in our region and globally,” said Mr. Nakao. “ADB will continue to work closely with the French government, business community, and other partners to find innovative ways to improve people’s lives in Asia and the Pacific.”
During his visit to Paris, Mr. Nakao also met with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Chief Executive Officer Remy Rioux to discuss how AFD and ADB can build on their longstanding partnership and strengthen collaboration in areas such as sustainable urban development, climate change, and social protection, according to ADB.
In his meeting with UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, Mr. Nakao discussed potential ways to deepen collaboration with UNESCO in the education sector, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET), in the face of rapid socioeconomic change driven by technological innovation.
At a gathering of top representatives from about 20 French firms, Mr. Nakao delivered a speech on ADB’s recent achievements, challenges ahead, and future strategy. In the discussion with the business leaders, including Philippe Gautier, Chief Executive Officer of MEDEF International, France’s largest employers’ federation, and Frédéric Kaplan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Business France, a state agency with a mandate to help French companies expand abroad, Mr. Nakao emphasized ADB’s efforts in streamlining procurement processes, adopting new technologies in ADB-financed infrastructure projects, and paying greater attention to operations and maintenance.
Since joining ADB in 1970, France has contributed over $3.5 billion in capital subscription and contributed and committed over $1.5 billion to ADB’s Special Funds. In addition, France has committed cofinancing of more than $3.3 billion. Companies and consultants from France have regularly participated in ADB-financed projects, having been awarded around $1.5 billion in procurement contracts.