The FINANCIAL — Mr. Masayuki Tachiiri has assumed office as Regional Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Subregional Office (SPSO) in Suva. SPSO serves as ADB’s focal point for assistance ensuring the delivery of financing and knowledge solutions in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
Sustainable infrastructure investments will remain a priority in the Pacific subregion. ADB will continue to support governments’ efforts to improve the business environment and promote private sector investment.
For example, the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, or PSDI, has been assisting governments in modernizing business laws and competition regulations, improving access to finance and financial services, and improving the efficiency of state-owned enterprises.
As part of the Strategy 2030 mandate for inclusiveness, ADB will support the subregion’s efforts to boost access to essential services and economic opportunities, focusing particularly on vulnerable and underserved communities. The ADB-supported Tonga Outer Island Renewable Energy Project, for example, is ensuring better access to electricity generated by solar power at a low cost. The Outer Island Maritime Infrastructure Project in Tuvalu is strengthening transport connectivity for communities in remote islands.
ADB supports climate-proofing in infrastructure investments and is enhancing countries’ preparedness for natural disasters. In Fiji, ADB is preparing a project to mitigate and manage flooding along the Nadi River. ADB uses contingent financing schemes to quickly provide financial support for Pacific countries after natural disasters.
Fiji will host ADB’s 52nd Annual Meeting in May 2019. This will be the first time a Pacific developing member country has hosted an ADB Annual Meeting, which will be an opportunity to showcase achievements and opportunities in the Pacific subregion.
Fiji has been a member of ADB since 1970, with support totaling $509 million in loans, $35 million in grants, and $32 million in technical assistance. In early 2019, ADB will launch a new Country Partnership Strategy for Fiji, which will set strategic priorities to guide the relationship and ADB operations in the country to 2023.
Mr. Tachiiri holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. He joined ADB in 2007 and worked in its South Asia Regional Department as well as the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department. He also had a short stint in a private advisory firm where he worked as financial advisor for public-private partnership infrastructure projects.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.