Amid global economic gloom, the newly appointed President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Takehiko Nakao, has expressed hope that Asian countries will continue to enjoy growth based on strong demand in the region.

“Asian growth has been more robust and resilient than expected after the Lehman crisis (in 2008). This is because of (growing) domestic and regional demand instead of (depending on) exporting to advance economies. India, China and other emerging economies in Asia have endured smoother growth and I think it will continue,” Nakao said during his maiden media interaction at ADB’s annual meet in Greater Noida on Thursday, after taking over as the Bank’s President.

On whether ADB needed to change its business model because of the proposed BRICS development bank, Nakao said, “I hope we can support BRICS bank if necessary and collaborate, but I do not think that at this moment we must change our business model because of ideas of a BRICS bank.”

The proposed Bank announced by the BRICS leaders at their recent summit in South Africa will focus on infrastructure development due to insufficient long-term financing.

Regarding India, ADB officials said it was one of the top five nations which have borrowed from ADB. In 2012, ADB lent India $2.4 billion in sectors including transport, ICT, energy, and finance.

Nakao said the most important focus during his presidency would be on sustaining growth and poverty reduction.

(This article was published on May 2, 2013)
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