The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will officially hold its 55th annual meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka next year.
The Sri Lankan government signed a memorandum of understanding with the ADB on Thursday, confirming its annual gathering would be held in Colombo during May 2022.
ADB intended on holding its annual meeting in Colombo in 2020, but was forced to hold the meeting virtually, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID vaccination program in Sri Lanka is being implemented very successfully,” said ADB secretary-general Mohammed Ishan Khan.
“Sri Lanka as a whole has reached an optimal level in managing the COVID disaster.”
Khan said Sri Lanka would be a safe country to host the annual conference, and expressed confidence that hosting the ADB annual meeting in Colombo will be an additional strength to face the post-COVID period.
During this year’s ADB meeting, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented loss of human life and has disrupted almost all aspects of our lives, our societies, our economies, our value systems and our cultural practices.
“In that background, I believe the time is now right to reflect and regroup. After all, this century is the Asian Century.
“Our region has faced many crises, but Asia is also known for its resilience. Therefore, it is not surprising that our region is leading the growth story of the world, even during the current pandemic.”
Rajapaksa said Asia had a responsibility to lead the world by ensuring policy solutions are environmentally and socially sustainable.
“We believe the ADB must lead the way in supporting member countries to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” Rajapaksa said.
“We also believe the ADB must extend support to emerging Asia to have smarter, eco-sustainable cities. It should be a new approach to ensure that access to resources is better managed.”
The ADB provides loans, technical assistance, grants and equity investments to promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific.
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