Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Stephen Groff today opened the new ADB Development Coordination Office for the Cook Islands.
“The new office will support ADB’s responsiveness to the development needs of Cook Islands,” said Groff.
“We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the government, particularly in the areas of infrastructure planning and services; renewable energy and energy policy; public financial management; and public sector reform.”
The opening took place just prior to the 43rd Pacific Island Forum Leaders Meeting to which the Vice-President is leading an ADB delegation. ADB is attending the meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands as an observer.
The ADB Development Coordination Office for the Cook Islands will support the government in implementing its National Strategic Development Plan through activities outlined in ADB’s Pacific Approach and country operations business plan (COBP). The Pacific Approach and COBP are ADB’s primary planning instrument for member countries that also serves to monitor and evaluate the country’s development performance during the timeframe of the plan.
ADB is supporting a program of prioritized investments in infrastructure in Cook Islands that aim to boost private sector-led environmentally sustainable economic growth. ADB is also providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management to improve the delivery of infrastructure services.
The new Cook Islands office along with ADB Development Coordination Offices in Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu and ADB offices in Sydney, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste are boosting the impact of ADB’s field presence and facilitating aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the Pacific region. AusAID is providing $2 million during the period July 2012 to June 2014 to support the operations of ADB Development Coordination Offices in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, FSM and Kiribati.
ADB has maintained a long and active presence in Cook Islands, providing a range of development assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance. Since joining ADB in 1976, ADB has approved 17 loan projects amounting to $US59.71 million, including a grant component of $US0.80 million and 32 technical assistance projects of almost $US11.4 million.