Australia has welcomed the Asian Development Bank’s responsiveness to concerns of its developing member countries in the Pacific on the complex issues surrounding quality procurement and infrastructure.

However, more sustained effort will be needed to effectively address these concerns.

This was one of the key messages from Australia’s Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers to ADB Governors meeting in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi Sunday.

He emphasised that Australia and ADB enjoy a strong partnership in the Pacific.

“At this Annual Meeting, Australia is proud to once again be pledging its support for an ambitious Asian Development Fund (ADF) replenishment which underpins the bank’s operations in the Pacific.”

On Friday, the ADB announced the largest ever replenishment of USD$5 billion to ADF14.

ADF is ADB’s largest source of grants for operations in its poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries and is replenished every four years. ADF 14—marking the 13th replenishment since the fund’s establishment—will support grant operations during 2025­­­–2028.

Australia, Dr Chalmers said was pleased to see ADB responding to the calls of Pacific members with the announcement of new concessional 3 lending terms for all small island developing states (SIDS) last year.

“We look forward to seeing this matched by a sustained commitment by ADB to deliver effective in-country engagement and project implementation in the Pacific.

A strong ADF14 replenishment gives ADB an opportunity to embed the differentiated approach for vulnerable SIDS, including placing staff close to clients and an approach to operations that maximises the enduring value to local communities.

Dr Chalmers emphasised the Asia Pacific region needs ADB to remain a partner of choice for its members and we welcome the bank’s commitment to meeting this challenge.

“This is why Australia remains committed to supporting the reforms underway in development finance and the international financial architecture, including within ADB. We support the bank’s objective to remain the multilateral development bank of choice for developing member countries to achieve their development goals.

Australia recognises the critical role the bank has in the region, deploying development and climate capital and providing essential expertise in project delivery.

“We share the ADB’s vision on climate change and support its efforts to position itself as the ‘climate bank’ for Asia and the Pacific, including its ambition to deliver US$100 billion in climate financing by 2030.

“I applaud the ADB’s leadership in balance sheet optimisation efforts; and would especially like to commend the bank’s efforts to unlock US$100 billion in additional lending capacity over 10 years.

“As a founding shareholder of ADB, we look forward to seeing ADB build on its rich heritage and many decades of success in the region to offer members the support they need to build more prosperous, sustainable and secure futures, said Dr Chalmers.

Australia also welcomed the corporate transformation underway in ADB through its new operating model.

“Modernising human resource practices, optimising business processes through digital transformation and moving more staff closer to clients should bolster ADB’s ability to be the relevant and effective development partner its members need.”

The ADB’s news operating model proposes more field presence – moving personnel from its Manila head office closer to developing member countries.