BANGKOK, Thailand - Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao on Sunday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders' Summit to discuss ADB's engagement with Myanmar.
Myanmar's macroeconomic performance has been quite strong and stable in recent years, with real GDP growth at 6.5% in 2018.
"Myanmar demonstrates strong potential for achieving sustained growth in the future, with prospects for boosting investments, as well as productivity in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors," Nakao said Sunday.
The ADB chief said he appreciated the structural reforms being implemented by the government, such as the adoption of the new Companies Law and easing business registration, as well as reforms in the banking and insurance sectors. These steps will send positive signals to domestic and foreign investors, he said.
ADB says it has been supporting Myanmar since its reengagement in 2012, operating in the energy, transport, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, and education sectors. ADB's sovereign lending in 2018 was $614 million. In addition, ADB is supporting private sector development through its nonsovereign lending in areas such as energy and communications.
Ms. Suu Kyi noted that improved infrastructure not only improves access and connects regions, but also helps achieve reconciliation between different groups of people. She further noted that achieving peace and stability requires a long-term focus on sustainable development. "ADB stands ready to support Myanmar as it takes steps toward conflict resolution and reconciliation, including in Rakhine State," Mr. Nakao said.
Suu Kyi and Nakao also discussed boosting productivity in the agriculture sector to support rural development and poverty reduction; enhancing resilience to climate change; and promoting connectivity and cooperation between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, taking advantage of Myanmar's unique geographic position.