DILI, TIMOR-LESTE (25 May 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB), through its Timor-Leste Resident Mission (TLRM), organized an event today to celebrate the institution’s 50-year anniversary working on Asia and the Pacific’s development, while affirming its long-term commitment and development partnership with Timor-Leste.
The event was opened by James Lynch, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department, together with Paolo Spantigati, TLRM’s Country Director. Key government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, media, private sector representatives, civil society, and other development partners also attended.
“Since our first operations in Timor-Leste in 1999, ADB has worked closely with the government to promote inclusive economic growth, contribute to poverty reduction, assist capacity building of public institutions, and support sustainable economic development,” said Mr. Lynch.
ADB has been helping Timor-Leste lay stronger foundations for a sustainable non-oil economy by improving transport connectivity and expanding access to clean water in urban centers, while helping the government develop an integrated system for technical education, prepare for ASEAN membership, and implement reforms to develop the financial sector.
ADB is already helping boost economic opportunities, reconnect communities, and reduce poverty in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Timor-Leste through a range of initiatives, including infrastructure development, microfinance assistance, private sector development, as well as skills and knowledge-building.
ADB assistance helped the Institute of Microfinance Timor-Leste become the country’s first locally owned commercial bank, which now helps the Government of Timor-Leste upgrade the bank’s core banking system and institutional capacity, as well as diversify its products and services to ensure that it can operate sustainably. ADB will also support Banco Nacional de Comércio de Timor-Leste’s (BNCTL) to introduce mobile phone, internet, and SMS banking services.
To mark ADB’s 50th anniversary and ADB’s long-term development partnership with Timor-Leste, a photo exhibit was launched at the event, reflecting ADB’s contribution to the country’s development journey to date.
ADB has been providing development assistance to Timor-Leste since 1999 and has approved 15 loans and grants totaling $342.77 million, and 49 technical assistance projects totaling $42.03 million. This includes initiatives to improve service delivery, diversify the economy, and support Timor-Leste’s integration with the rest of Asia.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.