The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) operations reached $28.9 billion last year with $1 billion of the total directed at the Philippines, the Manila-based lender reported on Friday.
“ADB in 2017 delivered another record year,” its president, Takehiko Nakao, said in a forum at the lender’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
He said the preliminary figure comprised approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance and co-financing.
Approvals of loans and grants from the ADB’s own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, a 9-percent increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016 that put the lender well on its way to meet a $20-billion target by 2020.
Of the total, non-sovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, an increase of around 26 percent from $2.5 billion in 2016.
Technical assistance, meanwhile, rose by 21 percent to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.
Commitments, or the amount of loans and grants signed, reached $20.1 billion, a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.
Nakao said the strong figures for ADB operations last year were supported by the successful merger of its concessional Asian Development Fund lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet, which took effect at the start of 2017.
“This will allow us to deliver a much higher level of assistance to our developing member countries for years to come without seeking a capital increase,” he said.
A highlight of ADB’s operational figures for 2017 was climate financing that reached a record $4.5 billion, comprising mitigation ($3.6 billion) and adaptation ($900 million) and a 21-percent increase from 2016, putting the lender in a good position to achieve its $6-billion climate financing target by 2020.
Co-financing approvals, however, declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to delays in large expected co-financed projects.
Disbursements totaled $11.7 billion in 2017 compared to $12.7 billion in 2016 due to lower approvals of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.
“ADB will come up with additional concrete measures to increase disbursements and co-financing, building on the new procurement policy approved in April 2017 and ongoing efforts to leverage resources,” Nakao said.
For the Philippines, the lender’s board of directors approved a $100-million loan for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility, which will support the Philippine government in accelerating the delivery of high quality public infrastructure projects under the “Build Build Build” program.
The facility will assist two key agencies — the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways — in preparing flagship projects using international best practices.
It is estimated to spur $3.8 billion in public infrastructure investments in national roads, railways, bridges, flood control, ports and airports, which in turn will add as much as $10 billion to gross domestic product between 2019 and 2024.
The total cost of the facility is $164.06 million with the Philippine government contributing $64.06 million. The project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.