NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda and Mr. Sun Vithespongse, Executive Director of the World Bank for Tonga, today officially opened a World Bank-ADB joint field presence in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

These premises symbolize the deepening working relationship by both development banks with the Tongan Government and with each other.

The joint field presence reaffirms the World Bank and ADB's commitment to strengthen their partnership in assisting economically vulnerable small states. A continuous local presence will allow the banks to align programs to those of the Government.

"This shared premises will allow us to be more responsive to the development needs of Tonga and enable us to better deliver high quality economic and social services to Tonga," says Mr Kuroda.

"The joint field presence will strengthen the ability of the World Bank and ADB to engage with the Government and local communities, ensuring assistance is more responsive and effective in Tongan circumstances," says Mr. Vithespongse.

"By opening this focal office, the World Bank and ADB are making a long-term commitment to Tonga and to our own partnership with one another," says Nigel Roberts, World Bank Country Director for the Pacific.