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Poverty Reduction in Asia Calls for Investment in Infrastructure / Joint Conference of KfW and ADB in Berlin: "Infrastructure and Poverty Reduction in Asia"
Frankfurt (ots) - Billions of dollars have to be invested
infrastructure urgently to support Asian countries in their economic
development and in the fight against poverty. This was pointed out by
KfW and the Asian Development Bank ADB in Berlin on Wednesday on the
occasion of their joint conference entitled "Infrastructure and
Poverty Reduction in Asia". Leading officers of the
two institutions held discussions in the so-called "Rotes Rathaus"
("Red Town Hall") of Berlin with around 250 representatives of German
industry, the banking sector and development institutions on
necessary measures and changes that will have to be made in the
overall political framework in these countries.
In South Asia in particular, poverty is a mass phenomenon: around 520 million people there live in poverty - more than in any other developing region. The continuing economic development of these countries is a fundamental prerequisite for improving the living conditions of these people.
"We offer our partners in Asia tailor-made financings", said Hans W. Reich, chairman of KfW's board of managing directors. KfW is able to apply its wide variety of financing instruments - from the development project financed from grants to complex commercial project financings. In the past years KfW also has begun to add funds which it raises on the capital market to finance developmentally sound projects in Asian countries.
Since 1 990 KfW has made EUR 1 2.9 billion available for infrastructure projects in Asia. The bank is active in the region not only with export and project finance transactions (EUR 7.2 billion since 1 990) but also with loans and grants under Financial Cooperation (EUR 5.7 billion since 1 990). In development cooperation KfW concentrates on creating a general environment in Asia that provides the basic framework for private enterprise. One way KfW does this is by financing investments in projects of transport infrastructure, water supply, sewage disposal or education. Another aspect is that the prospect of funding encourages the governments of the partner countries to enter into a dialogue on necessary structural reform. Where the overall conditions are appropriate KfW conducts export and project finance operations.
Similarly, the ADB too relies on financing important infrastructure projects and on offering policy advice in Asian countries.
ADB has estimated that the investment requirements for physical infrastructure in its borrowing member countries over the period 2001 to 2025 will be between $ 10 and 12 trillion. These massive investments will have to come from a variety of sources, particularly the private sector.
ADB president Tadao Chino cited several examples of the linkages between infrastructure investments, economic growth and poverty reduction - in the Philippines, China and Bangladesh - and stressed the need to ensure sustainability of investments; "sustainability is a common objective of many of ADB's technical assistance and capacity building programs in the infrastructure sector", he said.
ots Originaltext: KfW
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