NADI, Fiji, May 3 (Xinhua) -- President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao stressed here on Friday the importance of multilateralism in international cooperation.
"There has been much discussion lately about the value of multilateralism. I am a firm believer in the multilateral system, which includes multilateral development banks such as ADB," Nakao said in his opening address at the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors which is being held in Nadi, the third largest city of Fiji.
"National interests and multilateralism go hand in hand because we need international cooperation and collective action for the interests of people in nation states and the world," he added.
Nakao said that because multilateral development banks leverage taxpayers' money by tapping capital markets, they can efficiently and effectively support poverty reduction, invest in infrastructure, address climate change, and provide other global and regional public goods.
The ADB president also warned that trade tensions remain a concern.
"Maintaining open trade and investment regimes is key to vibrant and sustainable growth. In this respect, the ongoing efforts by Asian governments to promote new multilateral trade agreements within the region and beyond are encouraging," he noted.
As for the regional economic outlook, he said that economic growth in the region remains solid, while there is much discussion about a slowdown and uncertainties in the global economy.
Domestic consumption and investment have provided a strong growth foundation and in some countries, growth is even accelerating, he said, adding that ADB forecasts that the region's economy will expand by 5.7 percent this year.
In a related development, the finance ministers and central bank governors of ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) also stressed here on Thursday the need to resist all forms of protectionism and agreed to work together to strengthen the resilience and robustness of the regional economy to contribute to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth.