Kathmandu: Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Shixin Chen met with Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday and reiterated ADB’s commitment to further strengthen its partnership with Nepal.
In his meeting with the Prime Minister, Chen reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to continue to support the South Asian country, focusing on the government’s reforms and investments in infrastructure and human development while promoting gender equality and social inclusion and addressing climate change impacts.
ADB will also continue to assist with the implementation of federalism for more effective and efficient delivery of services, including those devolved to subnational governments.
"ADB’s operations in Nepal are aligned with the government’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) Strategy, and we stand ready to support the government’s commitment of achieving net-zero climate emission target by 2045," said Chen in a press release on Sunday.
Chen acknowledged the government’s leadership in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
He commended the government on the completion of Nepal’s second international airport, the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa in western Nepal, which is expected to enhance air connectivity and boost tourism.
In his meeting with Nepal Finance Minister Janardan Sharma "Prabhakar", Chen noted the government’s efforts in accelerating the implementation of development programs and reforms as well as project readiness to ensure that planned commitments are implemented on time.
He further noted that it is imperative for Nepal to enhance the competitiveness of its economy, including greater facilitation of foreign investment and innovative solutions.
Chen also met with private sector representatives and said that ADB is seeking opportunities to expand its private sector operations in the country and provide assistance to small, medium, and women-led enterprises; climate-smart agriculture; and digitalization.
He visited ADB-supported Bagmati River Improvement Project, Kathmandu Valley Wastewater Management Project, Melamchi Water Supply Project, and Rural Enterprise Financing Project. He also visited an energy sector project in Kavre and interacted with women entrepreneurs of Electricity Users’ Cooperatives.
During his 7-day visit to the country from 13 to 19 April, Chen will meet with Minister of Urban Development Ram Kumari Jhakri; Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal; Minister of Education, Science, and Technology Devendra Poudel; and the secretaries of these ministries. He also met with Nepal Rastra Bank Acting Governor Neelam Dhungana, and is set to meet other senior government officials, and development partners.
ADB’s cumulative assistance to Nepal since 1969 stands at $7.3 billion as of 31 December 2021.
ADB’s operations in Nepal is growing and as of the end of 2021, ADB’s active portfolio in the country stands at around $3.4 billion with 30 investment projects.