Azerbaijan to chair ADB in 2015

By: Nazrin Gadimova

Azerbaijan is set to take the presidency of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2015.

The news was announced by ADB’s Governor for Kazakhstan Erbolat Dossaev on May 5.

The symbols of the ADB’s presiding country were handed to Azerbaijan’s Finance Minister Samir Sharifov during the 47th annual meeting of its Board of Governors in the Kazakh capital.

“We are grateful to the ADB’s management board for the confidence given to Azerbaijan to be the chairman of the Asian Development Bank,” Sharifov said, addressing the event. “We want to thank Kazakhstan for the high quality of the 47th meeting. And, next year, we will be glad to see all the delegates in our hospitable capital – Baku.”

The representatives of Sri Lanka and Ireland will be vice chairmen of the ADB in 2015.

Having joined the ADB on December 22, 1999, Azerbaijan will host the 48th annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors in 2015.

Minister Sharifov noted that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had already ordered the creation of an organizing committee for the ADB’s 48th meeting.

The 47th annual meeting in Astana brought together over 3,000 representatives from ADB member states, including ministers, central bankers, government officials, businessmen, representatives of international financial institutions and civil societies, renowned scholars, and experts.

The main theme of the meeting, opened by ADB President Takehiko Nakao and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was ‘The Silk Road: Connecting Asia to a Changing World’.

Addressing the event, Nakao spoke of the need for the ADB to sharpen its focus to better serve the needs of a developing Asia in rapid transition.

He also looked forward to putting an end to extreme poverty in the region by 2020.

Nakao then hailed Azerbaijan’s economic growth, expressing confidence that the Baku meeting would be a success.

Saying that the annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors would take place in the Caucasus region for the first time, he added that they had been looking forward to seeing Azerbaijan’s rapid development.

The meeting featured the Day of Azerbaijan, which was attended by the delegations of member states, the ADB leadership, and prominent public and political figures of Kazakhstan and other countries.

A promotional video about Azerbaijan was demonstrated afterwards, and the website of the 2015 Baku meeting was also presented.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Sharifov also held several meetings, including with Nakao, Secretary General Maria-Anne Birken, Vice-President of the WB Lora Tak, Director General of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Kiyoshi Kadero, and Director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Hirosh Vatanabe, to discuss expansion of bilateral cooperation.

Following the meeting with Nakao, Azerbaijan and the ADB signed a loan agreement on the 4th tranche of Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF) of Road Network Development Program.

The agreement provides financing for the construction of the Agstafa-Poylu-Sadigli-Georgian border, as well as four bridges on the Poylu-Duzgishlaq-Gazakh road.

Established in 1966, the ADB has 67 member countries. The bank’s headquarters is located in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

The ADB’s leading shareholders are Japan and the U.S (31.2 percent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent) and so on.

Azerbaijan’s share in the bank’s capital is 0.5 percent.


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