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New deal involves Thailand and ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Thailand have agreed to a new partnership designed to serve the interests of the middle-income country. The ADB will help Thailand to improve its international competitive strength, promote private investment, develop infrastructures and capital markets, and reduce the environmental pollution caused by economic growth. Thailand’s role as a regional business hub will also be strengthened and the ADB will review the case for new loans. In redefining its relationship with Thailand, the ADB is following the recommendation of an expert committee that recently advised the bank to shift its primary focus away from poverty reduction in Asia and to focus more on the needs and problems of Asia’s emerging economies (see D+C/E+Z 5/2007, p. 219). At the ADB’s last annual meeting, some member countries sharply criticised the recommended re-gearing of ADB strategy (see D+C/E+Z 6/2007, p. 227). Thailand has not received loans from international financial institutions since 2000. (ell)