Many people in the Pacific, including key stakeholders in Pacific governments may not be aware that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is about to ask all of its members (and this includes most of the countries in the Pacific) for a large capital injection. In other words they will be asking all the countries in the Pacific to give cash and/or other guarantees. The justification for these injections is to allow the ADB to increase its lending to assist its members achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Major lessons drawn from PiPP’s first discussion paper of 2009 include:
- The ADB will soon be asking all the countries in the Pacific to give cash and/or other guarantees.
- Countries will be asked to vote on this issue in March.
- This request raises several issues that Ministers of Finance and their constituents need to be aware of including: affordability, political consequences, impact of the global financial crisis on national budget, what do you get in return for any increased contribution to the ADB?
- The Pacific’s contribution and more specifically vote will be important.
- This is a great opportunity for the Pacific to be heard and to also influence the debate.
- There are a number of options and each Pacific country needs to weigh them carefully, discuss with their representative on the executive and more importantly vote in line with the wishes of their people and governments.