Factory Asia must explore potential, ADB president

Greater Noida, Sat, 04 May 2013 ANI

Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), May 4 (ANI): The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao has asserted, that a rapidly growing 'Factory Asia' approach must be explored for its potential in the region.

He said this while addressing the 46th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the ADB.

"Factory Asia doesn't encompass all of Asia. Many areas within the region have not adopted the same model of approach. Factory Asia is concentrated, where infrastructure is basically good, and where, there is a large pool of untapped potentially productive labour," said Nakao.

"There may be potential for Factory Asia to further spread its wings to other frontiers," he added.

Bangladesh is currently in the global spotlight following the deadly collapse of a eight-storied garment factory in which more than 500 workers have died so far with hundreds more believed to be trapped under the rubble.

The building collapse in Savar is considered to be the worst industrial accident in Bangladesh's history.

There were about 3,000 people inside the complex, which was built on swampy land, when it collapsed on April 24. About 2,500 people have been rescued. Many have been injured, and many remain unaccounted for.

The incident has raised serious questions about the safety standards of industrial factories in the country and other Asian countries like India.

However Nakao added that a developing Asia must invest in skills, technologies, and the private sector to move beyond low-cost manufacturing and ensure economic growth remains strong.

The main themes of this year's ADB meeting were "development through empowerment", encompassing issues that are critical for sustaining high and inclusive growth in developing Asia.

Nakao highlighted aspects needed to find additional funds if the ADB is to maintain recent annual lending levels of around 10 billion dollars from its ordinary capital resources, despite an agreement, made five years ago, about tripling of the bank's capital base to 165 billion dollars.

He also noted that despite ADB's remarkable growth in the past few decades, Asia still faces many developmental challenges. On this score, he noted the population of over 800 million people still living in absolute poverty and growing inequality.

ADB had lent out 2.4 billion dollars to India, last year.

The ADB's strategy for 2020 emphasizes inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, regional cooperation, integration and enhancement of private sector development. (ANI)



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