Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao praised Malaysia’s efforts to balance its growth objectives with the need for prudent fiscal management to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth.
Meeting with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Nakao congratulated the latter on his administration’s reform efforts during its first year.
He also praised the measures to use financial resources efficiently for development projects, strengthen anti-corruption initiatives, and enhance Malaysia’s business ecosystem.
Takao commended the country’s strong macroeconomic conditions, including solid growth, price stability, current account surplus and healthy level of foreign exchange reserves. He supports the government’s policy of promoting new growth sectors and upgrading the skills of Malaysian workers.
“I appreciate the government’s efforts to balance its growth objectives with the need for prudent fiscal management to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Mr. Nakao. “The stronger emphasis on poorer states will help narrow the development gap and improve the living standards of the bottom 40% of the population in line with the government’s vision.”
In recent years, ADB has provided technical assistance to several states in Malaysia to help develop green cities, renewable energy, integrated transport solutions, and special economic zones. ADB is also helping Malaysia improve civil servants’ capacities to manage economic development and project management, among others.
ADB’s partnership with Malaysia has also fostered regional cooperation. ADB has supported two regional cooperation initiatives, the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT–GT) and the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP–EAGA). ADB is the key development partner and advisor for both programmes.
Dr Mahathir and Nakao discussed how ADB can support Malaysia in areas such as water, urban transport, and renewable energy, including the possibility of lending to help Malaysia incorporate more advanced technologies, diversify its project funding sources, and address debt sustainability.
Nakao also met with finance minister and ADB governor Lim Guan Eng, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, and chief minister of the State of Kedah Mukhriz Mahathir.