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ADB Announces Half a Billion Dollars in New Strategy

The President of the Asian Development Bank, Haruhiko Kuroda give his speech during the opening ceremony of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governor's from the Asia Development Bank in Madrid.

The Asian Development Bank announced $500 million in aid on Thursday to support the government’s continued efforts to expand economic growth and reduce poverty over the next three years.

The money comes alongside a revised ADB strategy to provide aid to the government, whose annual budget remains heavily dependent on donor support.

The strategy “sets out an ambitious roadmap to reach out to Cambodia’s poor with an integrated approach to rural development,” Peter Brimble, a senior economist for the ADB, told reporters.

The loan package will focus on farms and agricultural businesses, rural infrastructure and food security, among other priorities.

“The new strategy will help the country to develop a vibrant private sector, to diversify the economy, and to integrate Cambodia into regional markets,” Mr. Brimble added. “We will work to leverage additional private sector finance into key projects through public-private partnerships.”

The ADB is working on regional cross-border trade improvement, including an economic corridor that would link Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City.

Brimble said the bank is aiming for “inclusive economic growth” and “growth [that] will be spread out among the population.” The plan is also meant to “promote social development and equity, including education, water supply and other basic needs,” he said.

Kang Chandararoth, president of the Cambodian Institute of Development Study, said the three-year partnership reflected plans by the government and the ADB.

“ADB’s development plan is a regional development plan,” he said. “Development in Cambodia covers relations with the region to develop inclusive economic growth.”

Brimble said the strategy came from consultation with government, the private sector and other development partners.