Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Takehiko Nakao pledged to continue supporting the development of Myanmar, while also pushing for more reforms in a variety of sectors during a meeting with president U Thein Sein and several government ministers earlier this week in Nay Pyi Taw, the ADB said in a release last week.
“Mr. Nakao commended Myanmar’s program of economic and social reforms and reaffirmed ADB’s support for the country’s push to accelerate growth and to cut poverty,” the April 6 release states. “He stressed the importance of continuing to pursue sound economic policies, enhancing structural reform, and boosting the investment climate.”
Since resuming operations in Myanmar in 2012, the ADB has focused on loan assistance for power and transport projects. While the ADB plans to continue to support such projects, “Mr. Nakao emphasized the importance of ensuring development projects include the necessary safeguards to protect fragile environments and affected communities” read the statement.
The statement suggests that Myanmar “could reach upper middle-income status by 2030 if it overcomes development challenges, but currently about a quarter of the population lives below the national poverty line.”
The meeting last week came only days after the ADB released its annual Asian Development Outlook report, which painted an optimistic picture of the country’s economic prospects.
“Economic growth for the year to end March 2014 is estimated at 7.5% and this is expected to pick up to an annual rate of 7.8% for each of the next two fiscal years,” the report states.