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Bhutan office to be opened by ADB amid expanded lending

Sharhan Muhseen and Raja Senanayake

Oct 16, 2012 (LBO) - Asian Development Bank, a regional multilateral lender said it will open an office in the South Asian nation of Bhutan in early 2013 with economic growth expected to reach 8.4 percent in the current year. "To understand Bhutan’s needs, and the development challenges it faces, ADB needs an on-the-ground presence," Juan Miranda, director general of ADB's South Asia department said in a statement.

ADB said Bhutan is estimated to have grown 7.9 percent in the year to June 2012 and 8.4 percent growth is forecast for the current year, and the government was targeting 9.0 percent annual growth.

ADB said it was lending to energy, transport and urban development.

"Bhutan has done well in achieving many Millennium Development Goals, but pockets of poverty still remain among its 720,000 people," the ADB said.

"As a landlocked nation, Bhutan needs to work closely with other countries to ensure it has efficient transport links, notably to seaports in Bangladesh, India, and elsewhere. Such regional cooperation is critical to ensuring the country's future."

Bhutan had joined ADB in 1982 and the lender has approved facilities of 381.3 million US dollars in loans and 50.5 million US dollars in

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