KOROR, PALAU – Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Bruce Davis together with Palau’s Finance Minister and ADB Governor Elbuchel Sadang today opened a new ADB Development Coordination Office for Palau.

“The new office will boost ADB's responsiveness to the development needs of Palau,” said Mr. Davis. “We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the government, particularly in the areas of delivering safe water and sanitation, private sector development, improving public sector effectiveness, and managing the threat of climate change.”

The opening took place during the 45th Pacific Island Forum Leaders Meeting to which the Vice-President is leading an ADB delegation. ADB is attending the meeting in Koror as an observer.

“This office opening is the beginning of much deeper engagement between Palau and ADB,” said Mr. Sadang at the opening event. “Together we can more rapidly respond to the development needs of the people of Palau.”

The ADB Development Coordination Office for Palau will support the government in implementing its Medium-Term Development Strategy and Management Action Plan through activities outlined in ADB's Pacific Approach and the Palau Country Operations Business Plan (2014-2016).

The ADB funded Koror-Airai Sanitation Project, will improve the delivery of sanitation services in Palau. Through the Pacific private sector development initiative (co-funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand) ADB is supporting an electronic secured transactions registry, which is contributing toward the Government of Palau’s efforts to improve efficiency and ease of doing business in the country.

ADB and the World Bank are considering a project that involves the construction of a submarine cable system between Palau and Guam with a spur to the Federated States of Micronesia. The proposed cable project will aim to reduce the cost of and increase access to broadband and mobile communications to support social and economic development.

The new Palau office joins the ADB Development Coordination Offices in Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu; and ADB country offices in Sydney, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste in boosting ADB’s field presence to facilitate aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the Pacific region.

The Development Coordinator for the ADB office is Ms. Alfonsa Koshiba.

ADB has provided a range of development assistance to Palau, including loans and technical assistance. Since joining ADB in 2003, ADB has approved two loan projects amounting to $44.8 million, and four technical assistance projects of $2.9 million.

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