MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have pledged to continue working closely together and jointly mobilize their resources to promote sustainable growth, fight poverty, and protect the environment in the Asia and Pacific region.

Providing stronger assistance for development projects through cofinancing and stronger linkages with the private sector will be among the key thrusts of the ADB-AFD Partnership Framework Agreement for 2010 - 2016, alongside with new research and knowledge-based activities.

ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda and AFD Chief Executive Officer Jean-Michel Severino today signed the partnership framework agreement at a high-level retreat involving ADB and AFD senior officials at ADB headquarters in Manila.

The new agreement builds on the previous memorandum of understanding (MOU) between ADB and AFD, which was signed in 2003.

ADB President Kuroda pointed out that the close partnership forged by ADB and AFD has grown in strength and expanded into new areas since the two institutions first collaborated on rural
development and educational projects in Viet Nam in 1997.

"We have jointly co-financed a total of 39 operations, 31 in the public sector and eight in the private sector, with total cofinancing commitments of around $2.3 billion by ADB and around $900 million by AFD," said Mr. Kuroda.

"The opportunities for furthering our partnership are substantial, both in terms of scope and
areas for collaboration, and we look forward to exploring them together," added Mr. Kuroda.

In welcoming the partnership framework agreement, AFD Chief Executive Officer Mr. Severino said, "this renewed partnership framework agreement lifts our partnership to a higher level of ambition and gives it a new strategic direction, by focusing on new challenges both ADB and AFD are facing. Concentrating on key issues of common concern for Asia, such as climate change and inclusive growth, it expresses a strong commitment by both institutions to be more performance and results oriented".

The partnership framework agreement sets the principles of collaboration between ADB and AFD for the next six years, within the overarching strategic framework of each organization.
Collaboration will encompass both sovereign and non-sovereign, including private sector, operations.

Areas of common interest that will be given priority attention include climate change and
infrastructure development. Another focus area in the agreement will be the protection of public goods, including preservation of biodiversity, promotion of social and environmental responsibility, and emergency assistance to countries affected by war and disaster, as need may arise.

Paris-based AFD operates in more than 60 developing countries including Afghanistan Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through
inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region.