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ADB Annual Meeting: A new ADB in a rapidly changing Asia-Pacific

06 May 2008

Read more: Asia trade finance development bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set for a change in the way it serves its developing member countries in a rapidly evolving and dynamic Asia-Pacific region, ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said at the official opening of the organization's 41st Annual Meeting in Madrid.

His comments came amid a new challenge facing the world: rising food prices, which are threatening more than 1 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region alone. Kuroda said the ADB stands ready to help countries overcome this threat, which could "seriously undermine the global fight against poverty and erode the gains of the past decades."

Despite the troubling times for the world economy, there is reason to be optimistic about the future with many Asia-Pacific countries' economies more dynamic and resilient than ever, Kuroda told about 3,000 leaders of government, the private sector, academe and civil society from around the world attending the meeting.